EVANSTON, Ill. – Middle Tennessee (6-4) battled Friday, but they were overpowered by No. 20 Northwestern, losing the match 6-1.
Doubles play was dominated by the Wildcats (8-5). They earned the doubles point in quick fashion over the Blue Raiders.
The duo of Yannick Born and Gian Issa were turned back 8-1 by NU’s Sam Shropshire and Alex Pasareanu at No. 2 doubles. At No. 3 double, MTSU’s Robin Riethmueller and Miguel Negre suffered the same outcome in their match, dropping it 8-1 to Alp Horoz and Mihir Kumar. These two victories gave the Wildcats the doubles point, and the 1-0 lead heading into singles play.
The Blue Raiders had their hands full in singles play, as they faced a couple of nationally ranked netters.
At No. 1 singles, Blue Raider Ben Davis faced off with No. 93 nationally ranked Shropshire. Shropshire held a 5-3 advantage in the first set when Davis retired from the match, giving the point to Northwestern.
An MTSU netter battled with another nationally ranked opponent at No. 2 singles. Ettore Zito went up against No. 116 nationally ranked Strong Kirchheimer. Zito was not enough for Kirchheimer, falling 4-6, 4-6 in the match.
Victor Hoang suffered the same outcome as his teammates at No. 3 singles. Hoang was defeated 6-3, 6-1 by the Wildcats’ Logan Staggs.
The Blue Raiders’ Dima Zyhmantovich showed a lot of fight in his match at No. 4 singles. He dropped the first set 3-6 against NU’s Kumar. Zyhmantovich returned the favor though in the second set, winning 6-3, and forcing a third set. He came up short, however, in the tiebreaker, falling 0-1 (8-10), giving the Wildcats the point.
At No. 5 singles, Issa was turned back by Fedor Baev 3-6, 4-6. Riethmueller came through at No. 6 singles, providing MTSU with their only point of the day. It was a hard-fought battle, but Riethmueller prevailed, picking up the 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) victory.
The point helped the Blue Raiders avoid the sweep. Northwestern earned the victory though, 6-1.
Middle Tennessee will return him to face Lipscomb on Wednesday. The match is set to being at 2 p.m. CST.
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