Women’s Tennis: Wildcats close regular season with wins over Boilermakers, Hoosiers


Daily file photo by Meghan White

Northwestern tennis player Kate Turvy ended her final regular-season match at NU with a convincing 6-1, 6-0 win. The senior is currently ranked 49th in the nation in singles play.

Alex Putterman, Reporter

When the regular season ends for Northwestern, its work will have just begun.

The No. 16 Wildcats (15-8, 9-2 Big Ten) defeated No. 27 Purdue and No. 34 Indiana this weekend, winning 6-1 in each meet.

At Purdue on Friday, NU won the doubles point with a combination of close and blowout victories. After the Cats’ top pair, junior Nida Hamilton and senior Linda Abu Mushrefova, won its match 8-1, junior Belinda Niu and senior Kate Turvyworked hard for the 8-6 win that gave NU a 1-0 lead.

Singles proved even easier. Mushrefova, senior Brittany Wowchuk, freshman Alicia Barnett and Turvy all won their matches in two sets, giving the Cats a victory-clinching 5-0 lead.

NU split the remaining two matches and bused home with a 6-1 win.

“I thought we did an outstanding job on Friday,” coach Claire Pollard[http://www.nusports.com/sports/w-tennis/mtt/nw-w-tennis-mtt.html RS SB] said. “We played a good Purdue team on the road and beat them very convincingly.”

Sunday’s duel meet with Indiana was like deja vu.

On Senior Day, the Cats again won the doubles point, this time easily, then cruised through singles.

Turvy, the nation’s 46th-ranked singles player, dispatched No. 97 Katie Klyczek 6-1, 6-0. Then, after a 6-2, 6-2 loss from junior Veronica Corning, playing in NU’s top singles slot, and 6-2, 6-3 win for Barnett, Wowchuk finished the Hoosiers. The senior took her time in winning her first set but charged through the second set to capture the decisive victory 7-5, 6-1.

“I thought I’d be out there a lot longer than everyone else,” Wowchuk said. “But then I just one-by-one came back and saw that I was getting closer, so at the end I just tried to finish it out.”

Minutes later, Niu and Mushrefova won their matches, completing the 6-1 romp.

For seniors Turvy, Wowchuk and Mushrefova, the duel meet against Indiana was the end of their regular season Wildcat careers.

“It was a great day,” Turvy said. “Just to kind of celebrate a great experience at Northwestern.”

The trio has played through an era of sustained success for the Wildcats program, which won 13 consecutive Big Ten Tournament titles between 1999 and 2011. After failing to extend the streak last season, the Cats will play for another championship next weekend in Bloomington, Ind., hoping to end their seniors’ impressive careers with another Big Ten crown and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

“Every group has just done an outstanding job, and these guys absolutely,” Pollard said. “They won a National Indoor title freshman year, and they’ve won two Big Ten Championships and a couple of tournaments, and they have a chance to go and win a Big Ten Tournament next weekend.”

NU will be the No. 3 seed in the tournament and, after a first-round bye, will meet the winner of Indiana and Wisconsin in the quarterfinals Friday.

Though Pollard said the team is not as healthy as it could be, Turvy is optimistic about how the Cats have played and how they will continue to play.

“We’ve done the best with the circumstances we’re in,” she said. “So I think we’re all excited and ready to go play Big Tens.”