Women’s Tennis: Wildcats swept by Blue Devils for second consecutive loss

Alex Putterman, Reporter

No. 14 Northwestern (2-2) fell 4-0 to No. 3 Duke (4-0) Sunday, the Wildcats’ second consecutive loss.

After beginning the season with two victories, NU lost at Vanderbilt on Jan. 31 before returning home to face the Blue Devils.

Duke topped the Cats in the first two doubles matches, leaving the third, tied 7-7 at the time, irrelevant and abandoned. The Blue Devils then tore through singles, winning three matches in two sets to finish the meet before the Cats could get on the board. Of NU’s six singles players, only senior Brittany Wowchuk, playing as the Cats No. 4, won her first set. She trailed in the second when the meet ended.

NU’s top player, No. 67 Kate Turvy, hung with Duke’s Hanna Mar, the nation’s 10th-ranked player, throughout the truncated match, at one point leading the first set before eventually falling 7-6 and losing only game of the second set. 

At the No. 2 position, Cats junior Vernonica Corning was also working hard for an upset against national No. 53 Mary Clayton. After losing the first set 6-4, Corning led 5-4 in the second. 

The rest of the NU team had considerably less success. Junior Belinda Niu was no match for No. 40 Ester Goldfield, who breezed 6-0, 6-2. Senior Linda Abu Mushrefova and freshman Alicia Barnett  lost 6-3, 6-1 to Duke’s Monica Turewicz and No. 63 Marianne Jodoin, respectively. 

After the win, the Blue Devils have still yet to drop a point this season, sweeping all four of their opponents. Duke similarly dismantled NU last year, when the Blue Devils, then also ranked No. 3, beat the Cats 5-0 in Durham. NU is now 5-14 all-time against Duke.

Later this week, the Cats now return to Charlottesville, Va., where they played three matches in January, for the main draw of the ITA Team Indoor Championships. NU qualified for the draw with its season-opening wins over Arkansas and Purdue.

— Alex Putterman