Men’s Tennis: Northwestern kicks off fall season with Michigan State invitational, ITA Men’s All-American Championships


Daily file photo by Alyce Brown

The Northwestern men’s tennis team huddles together.

Alex Cervantes, Assistant Sports Editor

After ending the 2022 spring season just short of a NCAA Tournament regional championship berth Northwestern hit the road for two consecutive tournaments to kick off the fall.

The Wildcats first traveled to East Lansing, Mich. for the Spartan Invite hosted by Michigan State from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. 

NU had just two players participating in singles play on Friday who snagged a pair of convincing wins over Indiana Hoosiers. Junior Saiprakash Goli was victorious in straight sets 6-4, 7-5 and sophomore Max Bengtsson was equally dominant, winning 6-0, 6-4. The pair was also the Cats’ lone representative in doubles play, but fell 6-4.

The next day, Bengtsson picked up his second singles victory, courtesy of another straight sets win, 6-2, 7-6 (3). But Goli and Bengtsson dropped to 0-2 on the weekend in doubles, 7-6 (2). 

Meanwhile, in the self-described “oil capital of the world,” NU sent a pair of representatives — graduate student Trice Pickens and junior Presley Thieneman — to the 2022 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Men’s All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla. 

In their first matchups of the pre-qualifying round, both Thieneman and Pickens emerged victorious. Thieneman defeated Duke’s Jake Krug in straight sets 7-5, 6-0, while Pickens won a three-set battle 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. But Thieneman’s stint in Tulsa came to an end just one round later, falling in straight sets.

Pickens’ singles run continued on though, with back-to-back victories propelling him into the qualifying round. The North Carolina native came back from one set down to nab another victory before being defeated in straight sets by Florida’s Jonah Braswell.

In the doubles draw, Thieneman and Pickens couldn’t make it out of the opening match, falling 7-5, 6-3 to a duo from Santa Clara. 

NU now gears up for the ITA Midwest Regionals in Champaign, Ill. from Oct. 20 to Oct. 24. 

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