The men’s tennis team traveled to No. 46 Boise State Friday, where they won 5-2 to kick off its dual-meet season.
The Wildcats won three of the six singles matches in straight sets. Among the victors was freshman Strong Kirchheimer, who demolished his opponent 6-0, 6-2. Back in Evanston, the reigning Big Ten champion women’s team played Iowa and beat them handily in the first day of the Wildcat Winter Duals, which will continue through the weekend.
Here are three impressions from Friday’s matchups as both teams continue their respective tournaments throughout the weekend:
- Senior Raleigh Smith, who didn’t play in the fall, defeated 54th ranked Andy Bettles in straight sets 6-5, 6-3. The Miami native has a 57-29 career record, is a first-team All-Big Ten selection and the team’s only senior.
- Freshmen made a significant impact. Aside from Kirchheimer, Sam Shropshire also won his match 5-6, 6-5, 6-5. He’s the 114th-ranked NCAA player after making a strong showing at the ITA All-American Championships, where he lost in the final prequalifying round.
- The women’s team is a formidable force. They won seven matches Friday in straight sets. Senior Belinda Niu didn’t give up a single game to her opponent.
Ranked 32nd in the country, the men's team will return to Evanston to take on William & Mary and Chicago State Sunday. The 15th-ranked women's tennis team will play Alabama and DePaul in the next two days.