Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Cats Remain Undefeated In Big Ten (Women’s Tennis)

By Brian ReganThe Daily Northwestern

Close, but not close enough.

Purdue’s Mallory Voelker pushed sophomore Georgia Rose to a third-set super-tiebreak, but Rose managed to hold on for her 10th straight singles win as No. 10 Northwestern (11-4, 5-0 Big Ten) blanked a pair of Big Ten opponents this weekend.

Despite winning 7-0 in both matches, the Wildcats’ victories over Illinois (4-10, 0-3) and Purdue (10-3, 3-1) were completely different animals.

Illinois won only five games in doubles and failed to push any singles matches to a third set.

NU sophomore Keri Robison and freshman Lauren Lui dominated their opponents at No. 2 doubles to win 8-2 and keep their perfect 5-0 record intact.

In singles, sophomore Nazlie Ghazal kept the Illini’s Alejandra Meza Cuadra off the board, winning 6-0, 6-0, and Rose beat her opponent 6-3, 6-3 for her ninth win in a row.

But the next day, the Wildcats were in a tight squeeze in doubles play. The Cats surrendered 16 games, but all three teams managed to pull out wins.

Freshman Samantha Murray and junior Alexis Conill took care of business at No. 3 after falling behind at the start.

“Doubles was good considering the conditions,” Murray said, “but I wasn’t too happy about my singles.”

At No. 1, Prousis and Rose lost some costly breaks in a string of seven straight breaks by both teams that kept the Boilermakers’ duo of Voelker and Brooke Beier in the match. The Cats’ tandem held its final serve for the 8-6 win after the doubles point had already been clinched.

Once the singles began, the 15th-ranked Rose got out to a hot start by forcing a break and taking a 3-0 lead before inclement weather forced play inside.

Rose won the first set in convincing fashion, but Purdue’s Voelker surged in the second set to take a 5-2 advantage before Rose closed the deficit to 5-4.

Voelker won the second set 6-4, pushing the match to a third-set super-tiebreak, played to 10 points, rather than seven.

“It was a different match, being outside and then coming inside,” Rose said. “I think I played a pretty good first set and then she increased her level, but I didn’t think it was going to last. I tried to stay with her, but then she started missing a few, then a few more and I knew I had it.”

Down 6-5, Rose won the final five points of the match and reduced Voelker to tears, while Murray finished up her win at No. 2 on the adjacent court.

“We don’t want to win matches rolling over teams,” coach Claire Pollard said. “We want them playing well. Georgia was pushed real hard today, which can only make her better.”

The Cats continued their dominance against Big Ten competition by winning their 40th consecutive conference dual match. The last time NU lost to a Big Ten team was in 2004.

While the Cats’ top two singles players felt some heat, the rest of the team easily dispatched with their opponents.

Lui won 6-1, 6-0 at No. 4 and Robison and Ghazal each won their matches 6-2, 6-1 to win the match for the Cats.

“We really did a good job dominating early in the matches and getting off to a good start,” Pollard said. “I’m happy that the bottom of our lineup dominated and dictated the match as well as Lauren’s play. It was nice to see No. 1 and No. 2 left out on the court for a change.”

Reach Brian Regan at [email protected].

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Cats Remain Undefeated In Big Ten (Women’s Tennis)