INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Northwood (Mich.) advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a 5-3 victory against McKendree on Saturday afternoon.
Northwood, the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region, has now won 13 consecutive matches to improve to 18-3 overall. McKendree's (the No. 6 seed) season comes to an end at 19-7.
McKendree jumped out to early leads in all three doubles matches, but Northwood fought back to make all of the contests close. NU got on the board first when the No. 1 team of Jean Menard and Lorenzo Montegiorgi posten an 8-5 win. But McKendree responded with an 8-6 win at the third slot and a 9-7 victory No. 2 doubles to send the match to singles with Northwood trailing 2-1.
As they have much of this season, Northwood responded to the deficit in doubles with strong play in singles. Northwood posted four straight-set victories in singles, starting with a 6-0, 6-0 win at the No. 3 position by Salikh Gilmutdinov. Freshman Austin Woody then put Northwood back on top with a 6-2, 6-2 win at the No. 5 position. The Bearcats took a straight-set victory of their own at the No. 6 position to level the score at 3-3, but Northwood came right back with two wins to close the match out. Menard won 6-4, 6-4 at No. 1 singles to put NU within one point of the victory. Montegiorgi then closed things out with a 6-4, 6-1 win at the No. 2 position.
Northwood has now won seven times this season when it trailed after doubles.
NU will now face second-seeded Indianapolis in the second round Sunday.