No. 4 Wildcats upset, win two in consolation play (Women’s Tennis)

Diane Yamazaki

After a rocky start against California, the Wildcats defended their new top-five ranking with a stellar performance against Kentucky and Georgia at the USTA-ITA Women’s Team Indoor Championships.

The tournament started out rough Thursday, as the No. 4 Cats fell to No. 18 Cal. The Golden Bears took the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles matches to secure the doubles point, then continued to win four singles matches and took the match 5-2.

“I think the seedings were a bit off for the tournament,” Grier said. “Cal was very deep, and they had a great 1-6 lineup.”

The No. 3 doubles duo of freshman Nazlie Ghazal and senior Jamie Peisel had the Cats’ only win in doubles, taking the match 8-7.

Grier dominated at No. 2 singles, winning in two sets and Georgia Rose secured the other win 7-6, 6-0 at No. 3 singles. Esseghir ended her eight-match winning streak when she fell at the No. 5 spot 6-1, 6-2.

“I thought we fought hard,” Grier said. “And I don’t think it was a lack of effort or trying that made us lose. I just think they were the better team.”

In the consolation round Friday, NU bounced back defeating No. 12 Kentucky 5-2.

The Cats made the first move with Ghazal and Peisel winning 8-3 at No. 3 doubles. Shortly after Grier and Rose secured the doubles point with an 8-1 win at No. 1 over Kentucky’s 18th-ranked doubles team of Kim Coventry and Joelle Schwenk.

At No. 2 doubles, Prousis and Esseghir lost their match 8-7 (5). Kentucky took the first singles match at No. 1 where Prousis fell in straight sets, but NU took the next four singles matches.

Rose won again at No. 3 singles, taking her match 6-2, 6-4, and Esseghir recovered from Thursday’s loss with a win at No. 5.

Grier sealed the win with a 6-4, 6-4 victory at the No. 2 spot, and Ghazal came back from a second-set loss to win at No. 6 singles.