Women’s Tennis: Northwestern loses tight battle to No. 11 Texas


Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Maddie Lipp hits a backhand. The senior lost a close three-set match that provided the clinching point for Texas.

Calvin Alexander, Reporter

Women’s Tennis

Northwestern capped off a tough three-match stretch by recording its second straight loss in a matchup with No. 11 Texas on Sunday.

In a battle of two teams trying to rebound from defeats, the No. 23 Wildcats (3-2) fell 4-2 against the Longhorns (5-1) in a hotly contested match.

“They came out with a chip on their shoulder from their loss the other day,” senior Erin Larner said. “They came here to fight, and they didn’t give us anything.”

NU successfully suppressed Texas’ fight at the beginning, with the Cats’ No. 2 and No. 3 doubles pairs dispatching their opponents quickly and convincingly to take the doubles point.

NU built its lead up to 2-0 when senior Alex Chatt quickly won her match 6-1, 0-6, 6-1. However, that was the last point the Cats would win.

“Chatt played great,” senior Maddie Lipp said. “But as a team we have a lot of stuff to work on.”

Next off the court was freshman Inci Ogut, who lost 7-5, 6-2 at No. 4 singles. Junior Lee Or followed Ogut off the court, running into Bianca Turati, who is currently the No. 10 singles player in the nation.

After Turati took care of business, the match was deadlocked at 2-2. Sophomore Julie Byrne attempted to stage a comeback after dropping her first set 6-2, but her bid fell short after losing the second set tiebreaker 7-5.

With the score 3-2 in favor of the visitors, seniors Larner and Lipp each found themselves in a three-set match. Lipp won her first set 6-4 and lost the second by the same score. Lipp said her opponent, Bojana Markovic, gained confidence throughout the match, causing her to win the third set and clinch the Longhorn win.

“All credit to my opponent, she was able to control from both sides,” Lipp said. “But I am very disappointed in my individual performance.”

Meanwhile, perhaps the most disappointing part of the match came when Larner’s match stopped. After winning the first set, Larner began to cramp up and lost the second set, the cramps severely worsening after a difficult first game of the third set. But with her team’s fate possibly hanging in the balance, she carried on and fought her way to a 2-1 lead, before her match was stopped because Texas had already clinched the win.

“I am so incredibly proud of her,” coach Claire Pollard said. “It was a great match.”

This matchup marks the third consecutive match against a top-25 team for NU. The Cats lost their first two matches of the season during this stretch. Despite the competition, Pollard expects more from her players.

“We have got to get better,” Pollard said. “It’s pretty simple.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @CalvAlexander