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Feb 19, 2023

Tigers Fight But Fall to No. 22 Northwestern

CLEMSON, S.C. –  The Clemson men’s tennis team (8-3) fought until the very end on Sunday afternoon at the Duckworth Family Tennis Facility but ultimately dropped the match 4-3 to No. 22 Northwestern (7-3).

“Congratulations to Northwestern for a hard-fought win,” said Head Coach Robbie Weiss. “We competed well today and had our chances to get the win but could not quite get over the finish line. Our doubles bounced back today from a recent dip which I was happy with. We will learn from this and get ourselves ready for next weekend.”

The Tigers started off hot, playing its best doubles of the year as Jorge Plans Gonzalez and Max Smith continued to roll on Court 2, dominating by a score of 6-2. Minutes later Matt Pitts and Trey Stinchcomb clinched the point for the Tigers 6-4 as Ryuhei Azuma and Spencer Whitaker had match point on Court 1 5-4, (40-30) but the match remained unfinished. 

Northwestern was able to take the first two singles wins on Courts 2 and 4, both with a 6-4, 6-3 score. Nini Dica responded for the Tigers and came back down from a 5-2 hole in the first set to take it 7-6 before dominating the second set 6-1 to tie things up 2-2. Whitaker won his second straight singles match this weekend, playing solid tennis on Court 3, winning 6-4, 6-4 to put the Tigers within one point of clinching the match. The Wildcats would even things up again as Northwestern’s Bengsston earned the hard-fought win against Clemson’s Smith 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. It all came down to Court 1 with Azuma down 4-1 in the third set. He won two more games, but his valiant efforts came up short as Yatsuk sealed the deal for the Wildcats, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

The Tigers continue their home stretch next weekend as they will host UNCW on Saturday, Feb. 25 at noon. The match is free to the public.

For complete coverage of the Clemson men’s tennis team follow @ClemsonMTennis on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.