Women’s Tennis: Wildcats prepare for two top Texas teams

Alex Putterman, Reporter

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The Wildcats will have a busy weekend, hosting two top-20 teams at Evanston’s Combe Tennis Center.

On Friday, No. 9 Northwestern (5-3) will meet No. 14 Texas (2-3), a match-up that history suggests it’s the Cats turn to win. Since 2009, NU has beaten the Longhorns in odd-numbered years and lost in even-numbered years with none of the four meets closer than 6-1. In 2012, the Cats lost 6-1 in Austin, Texas. NU is 9-5 all-time against Texas, including 6-2 under coach Claire Pollard.

This season, the Longhorns won their first two dual-meets but went 0-3 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va., where NU won two of three. On the final day of the tournament, Texas lost 4-3 to Alabama, a team the Cats had defeated two days earlier.

Two days after meeting the Longhorns, NU will welcome another Big 12 team from Texas, when No. 19 Baylor (4-5) comes to town. The Bears beat Pepperdine on Feb. 17 to snap a five game losing streak that including three losses in Charlottesville. At that tournament, Baylor and NU shared two opponents. Both teams lost 4-1 to Duke, but the Bears, like the Longhorns, lost 4-3 to Alabama, while the Cats toppled the Crimson Tide 4-1.

NU is 3-3 all-time against Baylor, but the Bears have won the teams’ last three match-ups, including in 2012, when they prevailed 4-2 in Waco, Texas.

Texas and Baylor will be the Cats’ sixth and seventh consecutive top-20 opponents. NU is 3-2 in those match-ups, with both losses to Duke. The Cats have not faced an opponent outside of the nation’s top 40 this year.

These meets are NU’s final two non-conference opportunities before Big Ten play begins when Illinois comes to Evanston on March 2.