WESTERN 3, NORTHWESTERN 2
Western (6-5, 2-1 MIC) took both doubles matches on its way to a road conference win.
The Panthers’ No. 1 doubles team of Justin Groothuis and Vito Pulverenti battled back after dropping the first set to defeat the tandem of Kyle Miller and Nathan Chou 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.
Western’s Luke Florek and Kaleb Howard took a 6-1, 6-1 decision over Kyle Douglass and Noah Cardwell at the No. 2 doubles post.
Also for Western, Judson Quinn was a 6-1, 6-1 victor at over Clay Douglass at No. 1 singles.
Northwestern’s points came at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. At the No. 2 post, Will DeVaul defeated Brody Worl 6-2, 5-7, 6-0, while Joel Austin downed John Sullivan at No. 3, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).
“I was especially impressed with our No. 1 doubles’ ability to fight back from a first-set loss,” Western co-coach Christine Miller said. “[The outcome] came down to that match they knew it, but they set up points and executed well at the net. Our guys are listening to coaching and following through on it well. Our No. 2 doubles continued their solid play together. They’ve found their groove and are in mid-season form.”
Nw DEF. KOKOMO 25-20, 20-25, 25-21, 18-25, 17-15
The Purple Tigers outlasted the Wildkats on Kokomo’s home floor in a five-set nail-biter. Northwestern fended off three match points in the deciding set in improving to 3-5 on the season.
Hannah Ballard led the victory charge with six kills, 11 service points and three aces. Kelsey Richards added 13 points and four aces. Sydney Zeck added 11 points and 27 assists. And Alexis Brown added four kills.
“It was a great experience,” Northwestern coach Trina Yager said, also noting the stout defensive play of Richards and Emily Harshman. “Our girls worked really hard. They were getting worn down, but they fought through it and battled. I’m very proud of them. They’ve worked really hard and battled through mental things and struggles.”