Men's Tennis Falls to Northwestern, 4-3
EVANSTON, Ill., April 3, 2005 - Northwestern scrapped to win a pair of tight doubles matches, 9-8, Sunday afternoon against Penn State, giving the Wildcats the team point and the inside track to beating the Nittany Lions, 4-3, after tacking on three singles victories.
The win improves the `Cats to 7-10 overall, 2-3 in the conference. PSU drops to 13-4 and 2-3 in the Big Ten.
All three doubles matches were incredibly close. Junior Mark Barry (St. Charles, Ill.) and sophomore Ryan Berger (Grand Rapids, Mich.) edged Justin Hoeveler and Matt Christian at No. 2, 8-6, but the Northwestern rallied to win at both the No. 1 and 3 positions in thrilling tiebreakers, 9-8.
At No. 1, Penn State broke the `Cats serve to open the match, but Tommy Hanus and Chuck Perrin shook it off by claiming four of the next six games to go on top, 4-3. The two squads were nip and tuck the rest of the way, knotting themselves at 6-6, 7-7 and again at 8-8. In the tiebreak, the `Cats defeated junior Malcolm Scatliffe (San Bernardino, Calif.) and sophomore Brad Hunter (Atlanta, Ga.) 7-2.
No. 3 doubles was a streaky affair that saw Willy Lock and Christian Tempke drop the opening game, win the next three, but drop the following three to fall behind 4-3. Later tied it at 5-5, NU broke PSU's serve to take a slight lead and then moved to within one point of taking the match, 7-5, by holding serve. But the Nittany Lions responded by holding serve on their end before breaking the `Cats to tie things back up at 7-7. The teams moved to a tiebreak, where NU fended off Penn State to secure the doubles point.
In singles action, Tempke and Lock recorded easier, straight-set singles victories to make them both 2-0 on the weekend. Tempke defeated Scatliffe 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2. Lock won a tight first set, 7-6 (4), but cruised in the second set, 6-1, improving his team-leading dual mark to 13-4. He is one victory shy of cracking the 20-win barrier at 19-8 overall.
Penn State will travel to Ohio State on April 9th before returning home for their final home weekend against Iowa and Minnesota on April 15th and 17th.
#64 Northwestern 4, #63 Penn State 3 Doubles No. 1 - Hanus/Perrin (NU) def. Scatliffe/Hunter (PSU), 9-8 (2) No. 2 - Barry/Berger (PSU) def. Hoeveler/Christian (NU), 8-6 No. 3 - Tempke/Lock (NU) def. Sherman/James (PSU), 9-8 (7) Singles No. 1 - Tommy Hanus (NU) def. Mark Barry (PSU), 6-2, 6-2 No. 2 - Christian Tempke (NU) def. Malcolm Scatliffe (PSU), 6-4, 6-2 No. 3 - Ryan Berger (PSU) def. Chuck Perrin (NU), 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (8) No. 4 - Willy Lock (NU) def. Bradley Hunter (PSU), 7-6 (4), 6-1 No. 5 - Michael James (PSU) def. Adam Schaechterle (NU), 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 No. 6 - James Dwyer (PSU) def. Matt Christian (NU), 6-2, 6-1 Order of doubles finish: 2, 3, 1 Order of singles finish: 6, 2, 1, 4, 3, 5