Women’s Tennis: Wildcats impress at Virginia Invitational

Alex Putterman, Reporter

In their last event before the start of dual season, the No. 13 Wildcats (0-0) played well against three ranked teams at the University of Virginia Winter Invitational.

The invitational, held in Alexandria, Va., did not use team scoring but did award individual winners in singles and doubles. Northwestern senior Kate Turvy shared the singles crown with Tennessee’s Brynn Boren and Virginia’s Julia Elbaba.

The Cats started their weekend strongly Saturday against No. 11 Virginia, winning only one of three doubles matches but six of seven singles tilts, three of those victories coming over top-50 ranked opponents. Turvy’s 6-3, 7-6 triumph over Cavaliers’ star Julia Elbaba, the nation’s fourth-ranked player, highlighted the array of successes.

Sunday pitted NU against No. 34 Utah, which proved a doormat for the Cats. For the second day in a row, NU’s top doubles team, junior Nida Hamilton and senior Linda Abu Mushrefova, upset a favored pair, this time edging the Utes’ 23rd-ranked duo, Paige Miles and Tereza Bekerova, 8-7. The Cats swept doubles and won five of six singles matches, another virtuoso performance from the defending regular season Big Ten champions.

Martin Luther King Day brought slightly less success for the Cats, who concluded the invitational against No. 23 Tennessee. NU lost two of three doubles matches, the team’s first and second pairs falling 8-4 and 8-2, respectively. Turvy and freshman Alicia Barnett provided the Cats their only doubles victory, beating the Volunteers’ third duo 8-2. NU faired slightly better in singles, splitting the six matches, though Turvy lost for the first time of the weekend, dropping her match 6-2, 6-2 to No. 23 Boren.

With the invitational little more than a happy memory, the Cats will begin their dual meet season Jan. 25 in Evanston against Arkansas. The same day, Washington State will play Purdue, and the winners and losers of the two meets will square off the next day.