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Northwestern defeats Illinois State in convincing vogue


Males’s Tennis


Illinois State didn’t pose a risk to educate Arvid Swan’s squad Wednesday.

Northwestern (16-7, 4-2 Large Ten) managed its match towards the Redbirds (8-15, 2-2 Missouri Valley) from begin to end, incomes its third consecutive victory. The Wildcats by no means dropped a set, beginning with a one-sided doubles level and driving that momentum by the top of the match.

Swan went with the standard No. 1 and No. 2 pairings in doubles, however tried a brand new partnership of sophomore Gleb Blekher and junior Natan Spear at No. 3. The pair displayed speedy chemistry, clinching the opening level and shutting out a 6-2 win.

“With (Blekher’s) volley, coming ahead and ending factors on the web, I assumed he did an amazing job,” Swan mentioned. “Natan, his associate, was actually good as nicely on all aspects.”

In singles, sophomore Presley Thieneman stayed red-hot. Thieneman set the tone for the match, persevering with his constant play from the baseline and infrequently squandering factors en path to a 6-1, 6-0 victory, his fifth straight-sets win in a row.

Thieneman’s showdown concluded earlier than another courts completed their first units.

“He’s taking part in large enough to dictate play,” Swan mentioned. “His opponents are often working lots in the midst of the match.”

On the prime court docket, senior Steven Forman turned in one other stellar efficiency. Forman, ranked No. 30 nationally in singles, earned his team-leading sixteenth particular person victory to increase NU’s lead.

Senior Simen Bratholm secured the essential fourth level for the Cats, dominating his first set and making certain the general victory. Freshman Felix Nordby, who bageled his opponent within the first set, discovered a break at 5-5 within the second set to keep away from a tiebreak.

“He didn’t play that nicely within the first set, and I took management early — two-love, three-love and I saved the momentum going,” Nordby mentioned. “He raised his stage within the second set, and I maintained mine, possibly dropped a little bit, in order that resulted in a 7-5 and never (one other) bagel.”

Senior Trice Pickens leaped out to a 5-2 lead within the first set, ultimately prevailing in a tiebreak. After that, nonetheless, his sport began to stall.

Pickens modified his technique, profitable 4 consecutive video games to emerge victorious.

“I used to be taking part in dumb at first of that set,” Pickens mentioned. “He was actually good off his backhand. It was a tough shot to assault, however after I began making an attempt to focus on his forehand a little bit extra, it wasn’t fairly as stable.”

Graduate scholar Brian Berdusco’s contest completed final. Berdusco, who clinched final weekend’s win over Nebraska, didn’t want three units this time — he saved a number of set factors within the first set after which took over, finishing the sweep.

Swan mentioned he was glad with the extent of staff play.

“We wished to play a great doubles set, prime quality doubles, after which we wished to win in straight units (for) all of the singles matches,” Swan mentioned. “That was the aim, and we did that.”

Following the 7-0 end result, Swan and NU flip their consideration to Saturday’s match towards Illinois (9-13, 2-4 Large Ten). In 22 complete head-to-heads towards the Combating Illini, the Cats have solely gained as soon as, an in depth match in 2016.

The final time the groups met, Pickens’ match was the final to complete as Illinois escaped Evanston with a 4-3 win.

“If I want to attract on some additional motivation sooner or later, possibly I’ll suppose again to that,” Pickens mentioned. “However I feel my sport plan can be to only deal with it like another match and attempt to hold my nostril to the grindstone.”

E mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @nathanjansell

Associated Tales: 

Males’s Tennis: On the street, Northwestern prevails towards two Large Ten opponents

Males’s Tennis: No. 25 Northwestern cruises previous Michigan State, falters towards No. 6 Michigan

Males’s Tennis: Northwestern travels to Harvard this weekend for top-15 conflict

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