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 Shocked By UCLA, Fall Short Of NCAA Goals (Women’s Tennis)

By Brian ReganThe Daily Northwestern

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.

After losing a solid core of experienced seniors, including star Cristelle Grier, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year of sorts for Northwestern.

But because the Wildcats overachieved and won the Big Ten title for the ninth straight year, leading to a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, any early exit would be looked upon as a disappointment.

NU became the NCAA Tournament’s first major casualty Friday, losing 4-0 to No. 12 UCLA and becoming the highest-seeded team not to make the quarterfinals.

“I knew UCLA was a great team,” NU coach Claire Pollard said. “The rankings didn’t really matter this year because anyone in the top 16 could beat anyone.”

The Cats couldn’t get anything going against the Bruins, falling behind early in both doubles and singles.

“They just outplayed us,” Pollard said. “We fought hard and played well, but the truth of the matter is that they simply outplayed us.”

At the No. 2 doubles spot, Lauren Lui and Keri Robison lost two breaks to fall behind 5-1 to Ashley Joelsen and Alex McGoodwin. After the Cats won a break, the teams held serve for the rest of the match with NU losing 8-5.

UCLA took the clincher at No. 3 by defeating Samantha Murray and Alexis Conill 8-4, ending the pair’s nine-match winning streak.

The Bruins didn’t wait long to dismantle NU in singles. Robison and Murray lost in straight sets within minutes of each other, giving UCLA a 3-0 lead and leaving the Cats with a lead in only one match still on court: At No. 6, Nazlie Ghazal was up a set on Elizabeth Lumpkin.

The match came down to Yasmin Schnack and Prousis at the No. 3 slot, where Schnack had taken the first set 6-4 and closed in for the win against NU’s clutch senior. But sadly for the Cats, Prousis could deliver no magic, ending the team’s season and her team career at NU, but giving the rest of the team motivation for next season.

“I’m going to look at it this way: We are starting four freshmen, three sophomores and a senior, won the Big Ten and lost to a really hot team that may win this thing,” Pollard said. “That’s a hell of a year for such a young team. Yes, the young players were bitterly disappointed, but they learned a lot and that will bear well for the future.”

Reach Brian Regan at [email protected].

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Cats Shocked By UCLA, Fall Short Of NCAA Goals (Women’s Tennis)