Women’s Tennis: Rose, Cats ‘bounce’ to 6-1 victory

Jimmy Mitchell

A month after being named No. 1 in the preseason rankings, Northwestern continued to exert their dominance.

Matched up against No. 28 Texas, the Wildcats took care of business Sunday, earning a 6-1 victory at the Combe Tennis Center. NU took two out of three doubles matches and five of six singles.

The win gave the Cats a 3-0 record in dual matches in 2009 heading into next weekend’s Indoor Team Championship in Madison, Wis.

“A lot of us got some good matches, so that will prepare us for next week. (Texas) is a good team,” senior Georgia Rose said. “I think we played well across the board. It definitely gives us a lot of confidence going in when we’re going to have to play a team even better than Texas probably.”

Rose battled back Sunday after losing the No. 1 doubles match alongside junior Lauren Lui. Having fallen to the top Texas duo in a tiebreaker, Rose responded by defeating Krista Damico 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 2 singles.

“I was really pleased that (Rose) bounced back,” NU coach Claire Pollard said. “We didn’t finish very well in that doubles, but she came out and she imposed herself on (Damico) and just made the girl know that it was going to be too hard of work today.”

Pollard juggled the doubles lineup before Sunday’s match, putting sophomore Maria Mosolova and senior Keri Robison together for the first time. The new tandem excelled, winning by a comfortable margin, 8-2.

Mosolova, who had formerly been paired up with Lui, said Sunday’s new pairing worked well.

“I thought it was a really good match for the first time we played,” she said. “It was a good start. We made a couple of unforced errors, but it happens.”

Mosolova followed her and Robison’s doubles victory with an impressive singles win of her own. Mosolova’s opponent in the No. 1 match was Texas’s Vanja Corovic, one of the six players who had beaten her during the 2007-08 season.

Mosolova, now the No. 1 singles player in the nation, got her revenge on Sunday. Her overpowering, business-like consistency powered her to a 6-2, 6-4 win.

“The singles match was kind of interesting, because I played (Corovic) last year over spring break and I lost to her,” Mosolova said. “She’s pretty emotional, so my goal was to stay calm so she wouldn’t piss me off. I just had to overcome that feeling. I think I stayed pretty composed during the match. That was my main goal.”

The lone NU loss Sunday came in the No. 6 singles, where Robison fell to Sarah Lancaster 6-2, 7-5. The defeat snapped Robison’s consecutive singles winning streak, which, at eight matches, was the longest on the team.

Nevertheless, Pollard was pleased with Sunday’s results. Going into the weekend, the Cats were looking to improve their play in preparation for the upcoming tournament. The team accomplished what it set out to do, Pollard said.

“I thought our doubles looked a lot better than last weekend’s outing. Texas is a good school and a great program, so I knew they’d be ready and up for this match,” Pollard said. “I was pleased overall. I thought we looked solid. We’ll get to test ourselves (at the ITC). We’ll learn a lot in the next week or so about ourselves.”

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