EVANSTON, Ill. - The William and Mary men’s tennis team battled No. 32 Northwestern tough, but dropped its second straight road game to a nationally-ranked foe, 4-0, on Sunday afternoon. The Tribe’s No. 1 doubles team of juniors Aaron Chaffee and Will Juggins picked up a win and nearly led the Tribe to the doubles point, and the Green and Gold forced three singles matches to three sets and led in two, before the match was called with the team result decided. W&M fell to 2-2 on the year, while Northwestern improved to 2-0.
The Wildcats jumped out to the early advantage with a close 6-4 win at the No. 3 position, before Chaffee and Juggins evened things up with a win at the top spot. The Green and Gold pair upended Mihir Kumar and Sam Shropshire, 6-3, to improve to 2-1 in dual-match play. The initial point of the match came down to the No. 2 slot, where NU’s Strong Kirchheimer and Raleigh Smith eeked out a 6-5 win over senior Ben Guthrie and freshman Addison Appleby to clinch the point.
In singles competition, the Wildcats picked up wins at No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 to cement the team triumph. At the No. 6 slot, Northwestern’s Fedor Baev outlasted W&M senior John Banks in three sets. After Baev won the opening set, 6-1, Banks pulled out the second, 6-5. In the decisive third set, Baev clinched NU’s victory with a 6-2 win.
It was one of three matches that went to three sets. Seniors Ben Hoogland and Ben Guthrie went three sets with nationally-ranked competition at the top two singles positions, before their matches were abandoned with the team result decided. At the top singles post, Hoogland dropped the opening set, 6-5, to Raleigh Smith, before bouncing back with a 6-0 win in the second. Hoogland led Smith, who was ranked No. 65 nationally during the fall in the third, 2-1, when the match was called.
Guthrie won the opening set, 6-4, from Sam Shropshire, who is ranked No. 114 nationally, at the No. 2 post. Shorpshire rallied with a victory in the second set, 6-3, and led Guthrie in the third set before the match was abandoned.
Freshman Damon Niquet led Alex Pasareanu at the No. 5 singles post, before his match was abandoned. The Tribe rookie, who leads the team with nine singles wins, took the opening set from his Wildcat counterpart, 6-5. In the second, Niquet lead Pasareanu, 5-2, when the match was abandoned.
The Tribe returns to action when it travels to University Park, Pa., for a pair of matches next weekend. W&M faces No. 49-ranked Penn State at 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, before facing BIG EAST foe St. John’s at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25.
#32 Northwestern 4, William and Mary 0
No. 1 – Ben Hoogland (W&M) vs. Raleigh Smith (NU) – DNF, 5-6, 6-0, 2-1
No. 2 - #114 Sam Shropshire (NU) vs. Ben Guthrie (W&M) – DNF, 4-6, 6-3, 5-2
No. 3 – Mihir Kumar (NU) def. Will Juggins (W&M) – 6-4, 6-1
No. 4 – Strong Kirchheimer (NU) def. Aaron Chaffee (W&M) – 6-1, 6-1
No. 5 – Damon Niquet (W&M) vs. Alex Pasareanu (NU) – DNF, 6-5, 5-2
No. 6 – Fedor Baev (NU) def. John Banks (W&M) – 6-1, 5-6, 6-2
Finishing Order: 4, 3, 6*
No. 1 – Chaffee/Juggins (W&M) def. Kumar/Shorpshire (NU) – 6-3
No. 2 – Kirchheimer/Smith (NU) def. Guthrie/Appleby (W&M) – 6-5
No. 3 – Horoz/Baev (NU) def. Banks/Hoogland) – 6-4
Finishing Order: 3, 1, 2*