Women’s Tennis: Wildcats wrap up fall season at home


Daniel Tian/Daily Senior Staffer

Manon Peri sets herself up to return a shot. The junior got back on the court this past weekend after being sidelined due to a knee injury suffered last season.

Mike Marut, Reporter

Women’s Tennis

Northwestern finished its series of fall tournaments and matches over the weekend with the annual Wildcat Fall Duals.

To close out fall, junior Manon Peri made her official return to competition. Partnering with freshman Lee Or on Friday and Saturday, and with fellow junior Jillian Rooney on Sunday, Peri recorded one win and two losses. It was with Rooney that she found her most success.

“It was amazing,” Rooney said of playing with Peri. “We haven’t played together since freshman year, or maybe the beginning of sophomore year, so it was so fun playing with her. She’s so aggressive and fun to play doubles with. I was happy to be out there with her.”

On the other hand, the Or/Peri pairing did not go as well as coach Claire Pollard expected.

“We were rough,” Pollard curtly said.

Going into the weekend, neither Pollard nor Peri really had too many expectations for Peri’s performance, but both were happy she got back on the court. Pollard even called it “the highlight of the weekend.”

For Peri, just being on the court was a positive.

“I was a little rusty, in terms of competing, but it got a lot better as the days progressed,” Peri said. “It felt a lot better playing points and everything. That’s really what I need right now: just playing points as much as possible.”

Peri did not play any short games either. In her two losses, the Or/Peri pairing won at least two games in each match. In the victory on Sunday, Peri and Rooney played a lengthy match to win 7-5.

Pollard found a lot of improvement within the team throughout the fall. Much of this time of year is dedicated to individual improvement more than growing and building as a team. Some tournaments have doubles competitions and brackets, but not everybody goes to every tournament, as evidenced in the Roberta Alison Classic on Halloween weekend, where only four of the nine players on Pollard’s roster competed.

Two players Pollard has seen great improvement in are Or and Rooney. Pollard has used a tornado analogy in the past to define Or’s still uncontained and unharnessed ability, but has seen improvement in honing her skills to her advantage.

“She’s still a little overwhelmed,” Pollard said. “She’s still in a hurricane. I’m hoping it slows down, but it’s a strong one.”

Or said she still has some work to do, but has seen some progression already.

“I need to work hard,” Or said. “Everybody keeps saying the fall is harder — you just came here, head spinning, all over the place, it’s true. I’ve started to adapt, I’ve started to get the hang of things. There is an improvement.”

Rooney has found her stride too, and both she and Pollard have noticed.

Rooney said she competed well and was happy with how she performed, particularly when it came to overcoming some adversity on the court. Pollard said she was also pleased with Rooney’s performance over the weekend.

“In the fall, we made progress in it,” Pollard said. “Really happy for Jill, she had a great weekend, she’s making some breakthroughs.”

Pollard said the team still has to work on understanding the difference between playing well and competing well, and to be great, “you have to have both.”

Although the Duals may have concluded the team aspect of the fall season, sophomores Alex Chatt and Maddie Lipp will compete this coming weekend at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Indoor Championships as a doubles tandem.

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