Wolverines Fall to Wildcats in Evanston
Alex Petrone

April 4, 2014

Site: Evanston, Ill. (Combe Tennis Center)
Score: Northwestern 6, Michigan 1
Records: U-M (11-9, 3-3 Big Ten), NW (13-9, 3-4 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, April 6 -- at Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), Noon CDT

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Junior Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) won at the top of the singles lineup, but the University of Michigan men's tennis team dropped a 6-1 decision at Northwestern on Friday (April 4) at the Combe Tennis Center.

The Wildcats began the dual by winning the doubles point with victories at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. Northwestern's 30th-ranked tandem of Raleigh Smith and Mihir Kumar defeated the Michigan pairing of seniors Alex Buzzi (Key Biscayne, Fla./Gulliver Prep) and Barrett Franks (Christchuch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys'), 8-3, in the first match off the court, but U-M responded with an 8-4 victory by the duo of juniors Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) and Michael Zhu (Princeton, N.J./Keystone National) over the tandem of Fedor Baev and Strong Kirchheimer at the No. 2 position.

After the teams split the first two doubles matches, the Wildcats earned the first point of the match with an 8-5 victory by Konrad Zieba and Sam Shropshire over Michigan's No. 2 pairing of senior Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK) and freshman Kevin Wong (Hong Kong/Diocesa).

Northwestern transferred the momentum over from doubles into singles, and won consecutive matches at the No. 2, No. 6 and No. 3 positions to clinch the match. After the fate of the dual was already decided, Zieba knocked off redshirt junior Justin Rossi (Novi, Mich./Laurel Springs Prep) at the No. 3 spot to give the Wildcats at 5-0 advantage.

Shortly thereafter, Petrone gave Michigan its first point of the match, notching a 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 upset victory over Smith, who is ranked No. 37 in the latest ITA Men's Tennis Singles Rankings. The victory marked Petrone's 10th win during dual-match play and his third consecutive victory from the No. 1 singles position.

Northwestern added one final point at the No. 4 position, as Mihir Kumar defeated Buzzi, 7-5, 6-2.

The Wolverines will wrap up their Big Ten road trip on Sunday (April 6), traveling to Champaign, Ill., to face No. 11 Illinois at noon CDT at the Atkins Tennis Center.

The following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 115 Alex Petrone (U-M) def. No. 37 Raleigh Smith (Northwestern), 6-4, 5-7, 1-0
No. 2 -- No. 113 Sam Shropshire (Northwestern) def. Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 6-4, 6-2
No. 3 -- Konrad Zieba (Northwestern) def. Justin Rossi (U-M), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
No. 4 -- Mihir Kumar (Northwestern) def. Alex Buzzi (U-M), 6-7, 7-6, 1-0
No. 5 -- Strong Kirchheimer (Northwestern) def. Barrett Franks (U-M), 7-5, 6-2
No. 6 -- Alex Pasareanu (Northwestern) def. Michael Zhu (U-M), 6-3, 6-4

No. 1 -- No. 30 Raleigh Smith/Mihir Kumar (Northwestern) def. Alex Buzzi/Barrett Franks (U-M), 8-3
No. 2 -- Konrad Zieba/Sam Shropshire (U-M) def. Shaun Bernstein/Kevin Wong (U-M), 8-5
No. 3 -- Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (U-M) def. Strong Kirchheimer/Fedor Baev (Northwestern), 8-4

Order of Completion: Doubles 1-3-2, Singles 2-6-5-3-1-4

Media Contact: Zach Eisendrath (zeisen@umich.edu)