Women’s Tennis: Northwestern suffers first loss, falling 4-2 to Vanderbilt

Alex Putterman, Reporter

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In their first road match of the season, No. 14 Northwestern (2-1) fell 4-2 to No. 21 Vanderbilt in Nashville on Thursday.

The Cats won the doubles point but underperformed in singles from the start, with only two of their six players winning their first sets.

Senior Kate Turvy, ranked 67th in the country and NU’s number one player, fell promptly, 4-6, 3-6, to unranked Lauren Mira, and the results didn’t get much better from there. Minutes after NU junior Veronica Corning wrapped up her 7-6, 6-1 upset of No. 91 Marie Casares, freshman Alicia Barnett lost to Vanderbilt’s Frances Altick, 6-2, 6-2, knotting the score 2-2.

With 2 of a remaining 3 points necessary for victory, NU junior Belinda Niu, senior Brittany Wowchuk and senior Linda Abu Mushrefova all split their first two sets, sending all three matches to a decisive third set. Though circumstances suggested ensuing drama, Vanderbilt would permit none of it.

In their third sets, Georgina Sellyn finished Wowchuk 7-5 and Courtney Colton beat Niu 6-3, clinching the Commodore’s victory. The final match was abandoned with the meet’s outcome no longer in doubt.

Vanderbilt’s win evened its all-time series with the NU at three wins apiece. The Commodores last defeated the Cats in 2011, losing to NU 5-2 last year.

Next for the Cats is a Sunday morning showdown with No. 3 Duke in Evanston. The Blue Devils are 3-0 on the season, with wins over No. 53 William & Mary, No. 75 Wisconsin and No. 63 Wyoming — wins in which their opponents did not score a point. Duke boasts four of the country’s top 65 players, including No. 10 Hanna Mar, and is 13-5 all-time against NU.