LINCOLN – The No. 59 Nebraska Cornhuskers returned home from a three-game road trip on Sunday for a Big Ten showdown with the No. 53 Northwestern Wildcats, but were unable to come up with their first conference win as the Wildcats fought back to win, 4-3. The loss drops the Huskers to 7-8 on the year and 0-2 in Big Ten play,while Northwestern improves to 9-6 with a 2-1 conference record.
In doubles play, the Huskers picked up a win on court No. 1 when the duo of Christopher Aumueller and Benedikt Lindheim downed Northwestern’s team of Josh Graves and Spencer Wolf, 8-4. The Wildcats downed the Huskers on court No. 3 when their duo of Sidarth Balaji and Robias Reitz defeated NU’s duo of Eric Sock and Stefan Gollner, 8-3.
The doubles point came down to court No. 2 when Northwestern’s squad of Alex Pasareanu and Rleigh Smith were down 5-2, but fought back to defeat Nebraska’s team of Andre Stenger and Robert Schulze, 8-6, to pick up the first point of the match.
Like doubles play, singles play came down to one court that would end up deciding the match when on court No. 6 Northwestern’s Chris Jackman downed NU’s Tom Blackwell, 3-6, 7-6, 6-1, to win the fourth point for the Wildcats.
On court No. 1 NU’s Lindheim downed Northwestern’s Graves, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Also winning their match for Nebraska was Aumueller, who was victorious in straight setsover Northwestern’s Wolf, 6-2, 6-4. Winning the third match for the Huskers in singles play was Gollner, who defeated the Wildcat’s Balaji, 6-2, 6-4. Gollner was at the No. 4 spot in the Huskers lineup.
Northwestern’s other two singles wins came when the Wildcat’s Smith came from behind to down NU’s Stenger, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, and Pasareann downed Nebraska’s Schulze, 6-2, 6-4, on courts No. 3 and 5, respectively.
After the match, Nebraska’s head coach Kerry McDermott said it was a tough loss but gave the Wildcats all the credit for fighting back to win the match.
“It was a tough loss. I knew it was going to be a close match, and we’ve been talking about getting back on track,” McDermott said. “The doubles point killed us today. We let those guys back in the match, and it can’t happen against a team like this in a winnable match. But I give Northwestern credit. They’re good fighters. They fought hard, the crawled back in and won the doubles point and it gave them momentum.
“Singles wise, losing the doubles point puts you in a hole and we thought we could win with singles. They won a couple close matches there, and there deserved to win 4-3. It’s a tough loss. We felt this was a winnable match.”
Nebraska will be back in action on Friday, March 30, when they head to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the Buckeyes. First serve is set for 5 p.m.
No. 53 Northwestern 4 def. No. 59 Nebraska 3
1. Aumueller/Lindheim (NU) def. Graves/Wolf (NW), 8-4
2. Pasareanu/Smith (NW) def. Stenger/Schulze (NU), 8-6
3. Balaji/Reitz (NW) def. Sock/Gollner (NU), 8-3
1. Benedikt Lindheim (NU) def. Josh Graves (NW), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
2. Christopher Aumueller (NU) def. Spencer Wolf (NW), 6-2, 6-4
3. Rleigh Smith (NW) def. Andre Stenger (NU), 4-6, 6-0, 6-2
4. Stefan Gollner (NU) def. Sidarth Balaji (NW), 6-2, 6-4
5. Alex Pasareanu (NW) def. Robert Schulze (NU), 6-2, 6-4
6. Chris Jackman (NW) def. Tom Blackwell (NU), 3-6, 7-6, 6-1