Women’s Tennis: NU snaps winning streak, falls to Ohio State after Penn State sweep


Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer

Rheeya Doshi chases after a groundstroke. The sophomore and the Wildcats saw their streak of Big Ten perfection end this weekend.

Sophie Mann, Digital Development and Recruitment Editor

Women’s Tennis

Northwestern’s weekend started impressively, as the Wildcats blanked Penn State on Friday.

Then on Sunday, NU (12-9, 8-1 Big Ten) saw its lengthy winning streak snapped in the same fashion.

The Cats were red hot to begin the opening match, grabbing the doubles point and the first three singles points to clinch the match against the Nittany Lions (5-13, 0-2).

Juniors Alex Chatt and Maddie Lipp, the No. 15 doubles pair in the nation, started doubles play off strong with a 6-3 win. Senior Brooke Rischbieth and sophomore Lee Or sealed the deal for the Cats.

Coach Claire Pollard said she was unsure of what to expect from the struggling Nittany Lions, but winning was the start the Cats needed going into the weekend.

“(Penn State) came out pretty strong at the start of doubles, but … I felt like we were in control for the rest of the match,” Pollard said. “We knew that match on Sunday wouldn’t be as meaningful if we didn’t take care of Penn State, so we could go into Sunday fresh.”

Lipp, Chatt and sophomore Rheeya Doshi then took down their singles opponents, all in straight sets, to secure the match for the Cats. NU was up by a set and a break in two of the three unfinished matches, highlighting the depth of their dominance.

The same could not be said, however, for Sunday’s contest against the Buckeyes (23-2, 9-0).

All three doubles matches went to the Buckeyes. Even Lipp and Chatt couldn’t snag a win, and Rischbieth and Or, despite their previous success, were unable to tie it up for the Cats. That match secured the doubles point for Ohio State, the first doubles loss for NU since late March.

Singles did not prove fruitful for the Cats either, with all six matches going to the Buckeyes. Chatt and senior Jillian Rooney both went down before Di Lorenzo, the No. 1 singles player in the nation, took down Larner 6-1, 6-2 to snag the win for the Buckeyes.

The Cats struggled against higher ranked Ohio State players across the board. Five of the Buckeyes in the lineup hold spots in the top 125, while Larner, at No. 122, is NU’s only ranked singles player.

Lipp, however, said that she found positives in Sunday’s match.

“Even though we didn’t get a win, compared to our match against them last year it was a lot more competitive,” Lipp said. “We were competitive with them in the doubles points … That was something we were definitely looking to get.”

The loss against Ohio State knocked the Cats out of their three-way tie for first place in the Big Ten. NU remains without a win against a top-25 this season, an ominous fact for the Cats’ trip to Ann Arbor on Friday to take on No. 9 Michigan.

Lipp said she views every match as an opportunity. From that standpoint, the match against the Buckeyes only helps prepare NU for teams like Michigan.

“Even though this year we haven’t pulled out a top-10 win, we’ve beaten everyone that we’re supposed to beat,” Lipp said. “After playing Ohio State, we’ve seen the level that Michigan probably can be capable of playing at. We’re prepared in that sense.”

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