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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Women’s Tennis: Penciled in for round two

Two of Northwestern’s four singles players were victorious Wednesday in the first round of the NCAA singles championship in Tulsa, Okla.

Junior Georgia Rose, who came into her match with a 19-7 dual record, lost to Tracy Lin of national champion UCLA, 6-3, 6-4. Shortly after, sophomore Samantha Murray, making her second consecutive appearance in the singles championships, fell to Clemson’s Carol Salge, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Although the losses were disappointing for Rose and Murray, their teammates gave them something to be excited about.

NU freshman Maria Mosolova and sophomore Lauren Lui did not disappoint. Showing the same intensity they played with the entire season, Mosolova and Lui both fought back to win tough matches after losing the first set.

Mosolova, ranked No. 4 in the singles tournament, lost the opening set to unranked Arizona State freshman Kelcy McKenna, 4-6.

“I didn’t expect her to play that well because she is not ranked,” Mosolova said. “I am fourth-seeded so that put a lot of pressure on me.”

Recently named National Player to Watch by the Indoor Tennis Association, Mosolova upheld her award with an astonishing comeback. The freshman dominated the next two sets to advance.

Mosolova said it was NU coach Claire Pollard who gave her the inspiration to play hard and come back in the second set.

“Claire told me to think about all the work that I have done this year and just go out and find a way to win this match,” Mosolova said.

Mosolova took this advice to heart as she won the match 4-6, 6-2, 6-0. She will face conference rival Chisako Sugiyama of Michigan today at 1:30 p.m. in the second round.

Sugiyama presented trouble for the Cats in the regular season, defeating Rose in the regular season Big Ten dual, 6-3, 6-1. Mosolova faced off against Sugiyama in the Big Ten championship final, and led 6-0, 5-4 before NU was awarded the team victory.

But Mosolova’s comeback was just the beginning.

The match of the night belonged to Lui, who in her first appearance in the singles championship gave the Tulsa crowd something to cheer for.

Lui lost the first set 2-6 to California’s Susie Babos. Trailing in the second set 1-5, she rolled off five straight games to go on to win the second set.

“I knew I had nothing to lose, so I stayed aggressive and trusted myself,” Lui said. “Once she started getting down, the game just kept going and the momentum shifted.”

Lui once again put herself in a bind, trailing in the third set, 3-5. But the sophomore fought back to force a third set tiebreaker. She dominated in that game, 7-1, for a 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) match win.

Lui’s victory was very special to her teammates, especially Mosolova, who lost to Babos in NU’s team quarterfinal loss to California on Saturday.

Mosolova was in awe of Lui’s amazing comeback.

“I have never seen her play that well,” Mosolova said. “I was so proud of her. She was so much tougher than the other girl. She kept hitting winners, one after another.”

Lui will use that experience today in her second-round match at 12:30 p.m. against junior Amanda Fink of Southern California. Fink easily handled Florida’s Julie Cohen in round one, 6-4, 6-0. Lui will team up with Rose in doubles at 6 p.m., against the No. 1 overall pair, UCLA’s Lin and Riza Zalameda.

Lui said the match was one of the most exciting of her career, teaching her a lot.

“I learned that anything can happen,” Lui said. “Babos was the NCAA champion in 2006. Anything can happen out here, so never give up. You can always come back and win it.”

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Women’s Tennis: Penciled in for round two