Men’s Tennis: Cats poised to reach NCAA super regionals in 2023


Daily file photo by Alyce Brown

Northwestern’s men’s tennis players shake hands with their opponents.

Angeli Mittal, Design Editor

No. 31 Northwestern finished last season strong with a 20-11 record — its best full-length season since 2017.

Compared to the 2021 season, the Cats played a stronger homestand game last season, winning twice as many home games at 12-3 in contrast to 2021’s 6-3 record — though COVID-19 impacted many of the team’s games that year.

The Wildcats prevailed until the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament, falling 0-4 to No. 1 seeded Ohio State.

The Wildcats have not reached the third round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship since coach Arvid Swan took the helm in 2008. The 2022 season marked the Wildcats’ second consecutive return to the tournament, earning a decisive 4-0 win against East Tennessee State in the first round. 

While NU suffered losses in its doubles matches against No. 7 Kentucky (26-8, 10-2 SEC), sophomore Presley Thieneman and No. 33 senior Steven Forman provided two wins for the Wildcats in this postseason match.

Forman was named to the First Team All-Big Ten and had one of the strongest singles records during the regular season at 16-3. He will return in 2023 for a fifth year of eligibility.

Also named to All-Big Ten teams were then-seniors Simen Bratholm and Trice Pickens, both of whom led NU to success during the first round of the NCAA Tournament in singles and doubles matches. It is unclear whether they will return in 2023. 

Only time will tell if Swan’s Wildcats will advance to the NCAA Tournament’s Super Regionals for the first time under his leadership next season. Meanwhile, the Cats will have work to do to beat their long-time Big Ten rivals Ohio State, Illinois and Michigan, whom they struggled against throughout the past few seasons. 

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Twitter: @amittal27

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