Women’s Tennis: Sweeps against Purdue, Indiana show Cats dominance


Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette

Maddie Lipp finishes her serve. The junior and the Wildcats rolled to two more Big Ten wins this weekend.

Sophie Mann, Digital Development and Recruitment Editor

Women’s Tennis

With a perfect conference season in the works, Northwestern did not plan to slip up on its weekend on their road trip to Indiana. Slip up it did not.

The Wildcats (11-8, 7-0 Big Ten) extended their winning streak to six after taking down Purdue (5-13, 0-7) on Saturday before trouncing Indiana (11-11, 2-5) on Sunday.

The visitors took the doubles in two matches, stripping the Boilermakers of an opportunity to take an early lead. Sophomore Rheeya Doshi and junior Erin Larner opened doubles play with a 6-0 win. The No. 14 team of juniors Alex Chatt and Maddie Lipp then sealed the victory for the Cats, winning 6-2.

In singles, senior Jillian Rooney, Chatt, Lipp and Larner all won their matches in straight sets, earning the sweep for NU.

Coach Claire Pollard said though the team is still working on its doubles lineup, it is important to not only win the doubles point, but be solid at every stage of competition.

“It’s fun to be able to see a new lineup that looks really good,” Pollard said. “For us to compete for a Big Ten title, we are going to have be outstanding at every single point.”

With a first win of the weekend in the books, the Cats traveled south to take on the Hoosiers.

Not only did Doshi and Rooney open up doubles play with a quick win, Chatt and Lipp were at it again to get an early lead for NU.

Even with more wind than expected, the Cats didn’t allow anything to slow them down. All six singles players won their matches — four in three sets, including a final-set tiebreak win by Doshi at No. 2 — something Pollard said she was proud of.

“It was a great day, but it was windy; if you don’t use the wind, it could hurt you,” Pollard said. “We lost some really close second sets, and what I was most proud of was how quickly we got ahead in the third.”

Larner echoed Pollard’s sentiment that persevering through unique weather conditions displayed toughness. Though it can be an equalizer, stronger teams can power through it, she said.

The strong singles play demonstrates the Cats’ growing dominance in the Big Ten after a challenging non-conference season teeming with top-10 teams. Even when playing weaker teams, Larner said the team doesn’t take any match lightly.

“We’ve gotten confidence from our Big Ten play,” Larner said. “I think (the beginning of the season) helped prepare us. We don’t overlook anyone.”

Though NU is committed to success, the Cats must also continue to have fun on the court, Pollard said. Especially after a rigorous beginning of the season, Pollard said, NU should savor its accomplishments.

“We are enjoying our winning stretch and playing in one of the greatest conferences in the country,” Pollard said. “Enjoyment is a key to success.”

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