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

The Daily Northwestern

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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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Near-perfect NU scorches New Mexico (Women’s Tennis)

No. 7 Northwestern took its game to the desert of New Mexico on Saturday, and its play was as hot as the desert sun.

The Cats dominated No. 67 New Mexico on their way to a 7-0 win. NU (2-0) took all three doubles matches and lost only one set in single play to improve to 2-0 on the season.

This kind of victory is what coach Claire Pollard said she expected from her team.

“I think we have such a deep lineup. We are strong at the top. We’re just a very complete team which just makes us difficult,” Pollard said.

The Cats dominated their doubles competition easily, winning all three matches. Sophomore Lauren Lui and junior Georgia Rose defeated New Mexico’s Lucy Scott and Sandra Zmak 8-1 at the No. 1 spot for NU.

The sophomore pair of Samantha Murray and Suzie Matzenauer also emerged victorious, as they downed the Lobos’ Ola Abou-Zekry and Emma Hayman 8-3.

In the last doubles match against the Cats, New Mexico (1-2) pulled to 6-4. But NU’s Alexis Conill and Maria Mosolova could not be stopped on their way to an 8-5 win.

When things seemed to unravel for Conill and Mosolova, they relied on their chemistry to stand their ground.

“We communicate with each other and if something goes wrong, we try to see the positive,” Mosolva said.

The Cats carried their doubles momentum over to singles competition, sweeping their matches – though not without a little drama.

Freshman standout and reigning Big Ten Athlete of the Week Mosolova defeated New Mexico’s Abou-Zekry, 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 1 spot.

“It’s a huge bonus for your program when you can have a freshman walk in and play No. 1. It puts everyone down a spot in our lineup, which only means we’re better,” Pollard said.

At the No. 2 spot, Rose defeated New Mexico’s Mackenzie White, 6-4, 6-3. Rose accomplished this feat being down 4-0 in the first set only to win 10 straight games and cruise the rest of the way.

At the No. 3 spot, No. 20 Murray was the first off the courts, as she defeated the Lobos’ Zmak , 6-2, 6-1. Ghazal and Matzenauer also won easily at the No. 5 and No. 6 spots.

Unlike any of NU’s previous matches, there was some anxiety at the No. 4 spot. The Cats’ Lui and the Lobos’ Scott were entangled in a nail-biter that had to be decided by a third set.

Lui seemed to be rolling easily, winning the first set 6-1 and rolling to a 5-2 lead in the second set. But Scott battled back to win four straight games and eventually forced a tiebreaker.

“I got off to a good start, but I couldn’t close it out,” Lui said. “I got a little tight, the altitude was a little tricky, and [Scott] played really well and raised her level.”

With the momentum on her side, Scott won the tiebreaker 7-4, sending the match to a decisive 10-point superbreaker. In the breaker, Lui finally regained control, winning 10-1 to take the match 6-1, 6-7 (4-7), 1-0 (10-1).

“I just kept going and tried to play the best I could,” Lui said.

After two dominating victories to start the season, the Cats will face their toughest competition yet when they take on the defending NCAA champion Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday.

Mosolova said she was ready for the challenge.

“I am really excited for this match,” she said. “They are a strong opponent. I think we can beat them.”

Reach Cleyana Mayweather at

[email protected].

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Near-perfect NU scorches New Mexico (Women’s Tennis)