Women’s Tennis: Peri, Wildcats prepare for Fall Duals

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Daily file photo by Sean Su

Junior Manon Peri hits a serve. Peri will play doubles at this weekend’s Wildcat Fall Duals, her first action since a February knee injury cut her 2014-2015 season short.

Michael Marut, Reporter


Women’s Tennis


Northwestern has aptly adhered to this season’s motto of “Be Healthy,” as another previously injured player returns just in time for the Wildcat Fall Duals this weekend.

Nearly nine months ago, junior Manon Peri saw her 2014-2015 season come to an abrupt end. She suffered a season-ending knee injury on Feb. 14 and has been recovering since.

As of this past Monday, Peri has finally been cleared to play competitively, albeit in a limited fashion. Peri will team up with freshman Lee Or on the doubles court for her 2015-2016 debut.

“I’m excited mostly,” Peri said. “I’m just grateful that I can compete again. Honestly, I just want to have fun, play well. I’ve been practicing well, so hopefully it translates and get a little bit of competition.”

Coach Claire Pollard said she is excited to see Peri play and is optimistic that she and Or will develop into a strong doubles pairing for the team this year.

But because Peri has not seen true competition since Valentine’s Day, Pollard is just looking for her to compete to the best of her ability this weekend.

“She’s ahead of schedule in terms of what we were anticipating,” Pollard said. “Just the fact that she can get out there is a win-win for us.”

With Peri back, the Wildcats now have seven of their nine players on the court. Senior Alicia Barnett will not play over the weekend due to a wrist injury and sophomore Rheeya Doshi will not be playing for personal reasons.

Four of NU’s players are coming off a weekend at the Roberta Alison Classic tournament down in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Juniors Brooke Rischbieth, Jillian Rooney, sophomore Erin Larner and Or competed at the tournament to get more experience and matches under their belt, which Rischbieth believes will translate to this weekend’s competition.

“Every match we play is a good experience for learning,” Rischbieth said. “On a personal level, I think getting out there and getting good court time for me is most important. I think all of us who were lucky enough to go to Alabama, and those who weren’t, we’re all working hard towards where we want to go so we’re ready to compete as a team in January.”

Starting Friday, the Cats will take on Yale, Oklahoma and DePaul in dual matches like the competitions during the winter and spring season, although these matches do not count toward NU’s record. Pollard said it will be good to see the Cats compete as a team for the first time, as each fall contest to date has been individual rather than team-oriented.

Redshirt sophomore Maddie Lipp has already stormed back from her season-long injury last year, making the singles final of the Midwest Regional Championships. If the same proves true for Peri, the players have a real shot to back up Pollard’s claim that she has the best group of tennis players in the country.

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