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

The Daily Northwestern

48° Evanston, IL
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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Women’s Tennis: Cats stung by Jackets in rematch

No. 3 Northwestern (6-1) did something this weekend that no other Big Ten team had ever done. The Wildcats advanced to the finals of the ITA Indoor Championships in Madison, Wis.

But history was bittersweet for the Cats, as they fell to No.4 Georgia Tech (6-1) in the finals, 4-2.

“It was definitely really exciting [to advance to the championships], we had a big win the week before that really boosted our confidence and set the tone for the weekend,” Georgia Rose said.

“It was disappointing [to lose the match]. We definitely knew that we had a chance to win it. It just came down to a few points.”

This was NU’s second meeting with Georgia Tech in two weeks. Last week the Cats knocked off the defending national champions 6-1 in Atlanta.

On its way to the finals, NU beat some tough competitors in No. 12 Fresno State, No. 7 California and No. 14 North Carolina. The Cats provided each of these teams with their first losses of the season, something coach Claire Pollard was happy to see.

“We are playing great tennis right now,” Pollard said. “We were really hard to beat this weekend. We took care of business. We really dominated. This just goes to the show the level we are at this year.”

But Georgia Tech would be the one to provide NU with its first loss of the season.

The Yellow Jackets won two of three doubles matches to win the doubles point and take a 1-0 lead. The duo of Alexis Conill and Rose was the only NU team to win a doubles match, beating Georgia Tech’s Whitney McCray and Amanda McDowell, 8-3.

In the singles matches, NU played well but was unable to execute.

The Cats went down 2-0 when the Yellow Jackets’ Christy Striplin defeated Nazlie Ghazal in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 at the No. 4 spot.

But NU battled back behind the play of Rose, winning two straight matches to tie the dual at two. At the No. 1 spot, Rose defeated Kristi Miller, 6-3, 6-1.

At the No. 6 spot, NU’s Suzie Matzenauer took care of Noelle Hickey, 6-2, 6-4.

But the Cats wouldn’t win a match after that.

At No. 3, NU’s Samantha Murray fell to McCray, 6-1, 7-5. Georgia Tech’s Kristen Flower defeated Lauren Lui at No. 5 to secure the match for the Yellow Jackets, who took their second straight ITA Indoor Championship.

Because their only losses of the season have come against each other, NU and Georgia Tech have created a rivalry.

“Right now it’s 1-1, and hopefully we will play them in May,” Matzenauer said.

Although the Cats came up short Sunday, there are two bigger titles they still have a shot at.

NU will start its quest for a 10th straight conference championship Saturday, when it welcomes Penn State to the Combe Tennis Center for the Big Ten opener.

“I think we are going to have a really good [Big Ten] season,” Matzenauer said. “We are really hungry.”

The second goal is winning an NCAA Championship, and the Cats don’t mind if they have to go through Georgia Tech to get it.

“Hopefully we will have another crack at them or any other team that is the best in college tennis,” Pollard said.

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Women’s Tennis: Cats stung by Jackets in rematch