Another mixed result awaited Northwestern (5-3) in the midst of their weeks-long trip the east and south. The ’Cats split another weekend road trip against Kentucky (7-3) and #21 Oklahoma State (7-2) as the squad searches for some consistency entering conference play.
Steven Forman and Trice Pickens took the doubles point on a tiebreak point against Ying-Ze Chen and César Bourgois, while Simen Bratholm and Nick Brookes finished out a routine 6-3 win on court #1 over Millen Hurrion and Gabriel Diallo. Brookes, Pickens, and Chris Ephron rounded out the victory, but Dominik Stary and Forman dropped their matches on court #1. Only Forman and Pickens’ matches went the distance, with the former dropping his third set 5-7 to Bourgois while Pickens rebounded from a tiebreak first set loss against Kento Yamada to win the remaining two sets by a 6-4 scoreline.
Oklahoma State presented a much stiffer challenge. The Cowboys handily defeated the ’Cats last year, and the squad returned key players from last year’s team including #35 Matej Vocel, who defeated Brookes on court #1 in a hard-fought three set match in Evanston a year ago.
In doubles, Forman and Natan Spear dropped a 5-7 decision to clinch the doubles point for Oklahoma State. Vocel and #110 Dominik Kellovsky recorded straight sets victories on courts #1 and #2 over Stary and Forman, respectively. Pickens dropped his match on court #5 for a 4-0 Cowboys sweep.
Northwestern returns to Combe Tennis Center against Vanderbilt on Friday, Feb. 21 at 4 p.m.