Men's Tennis Sweeps Northwestern, 7-0, for 11th Win
Feb. 25, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. – NC State’s No. 48 men’s tennis team stormed back from an early deficit in singles play to beat No. 57 Northwestern 7-0 at the Combe Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Wolfpack (11-1), playing in its first match in nearly two weeks, improved its ACC-leading win streak to seven in a row and has more victories than any team in the conference.
Despite final score, the victory wasn’t easy against the Wildcats (7-3). After winning the doubles point for the 11th time this season, State saw four of its singles players lose their first sets against their Wildcat opponents, including No. 110 senior Jaime Pulgar in his match against No. 111 Spencer Wolf.
Meanwhile, undefeated freshman Robbie Mudge (10-0) cruised to his 10th consecutive victory with no defeats in the No. 3 singles match and freshman Beck Bond won his match in two sets in the No. 6 match.
Those victories seemed to buoy their teammates, who all rallied for three-set victories. Pulgar (9-1) defeated Wolf, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 and senior Dominic Hodgson (5-3) won at No. 2 against Sidarth Balaji, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3.
“I was proud of the way everyone kept fighting,” NC State coach Jon Choboy said. “Northwestern is a good team and I knew they would be tough. Our guys showed a lot of heart.”
No. 124 freshman Austin Powell (8-0) remained undefeated by coming back after losing his first set 6-7 to Northwestern’s Chad Jackman. He lost only one more game for the 6-7, 6-1, 6-0 victory.
“Austin thrives on that kind of pressure,” Choboy said. “I was comfortable. Sometimes the longer the match goes, the better off he is. He did a great job of coming back.”
The only blemish on the day was the first doubles loss of the season for Pulgar and Mudge, who had won their first six matches together. They lost 8-6 to Wolf and Eric Spector. That setback, however, came after State had already secured the doubles point on wins by Julian Sullivan and Sean Weber at No. 1 and Hodgson and Matt Thomson at No. 2.
The Wolfpack returns to action on Wednesday, when it hosts No. 38 Virginia Commonwealth at the Isenhour Tennis Center. Weather permitting, it will be the first match played on the new Curtis and Jacqueline Dail Outdoor Tennis Stadium, which was completed in the fall.
No. 48 NC State 7, No. 57 Northwestern 0