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Women’s Tennis: Northwestern wins dramatic comeback over No. 22 Washington

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Women’s Tennis: Northwestern wins dramatic comeback over No. 22 Washington

Alex Chatt prepares to hit the ball. The senior participated in an exciting weekend for the Wildcats, who went 2-0 Saturday.

Alex Chatt prepares to hit the ball. The senior participated in an exciting weekend for the Wildcats, who went 2-0 Saturday.

Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Alex Chatt prepares to hit the ball. The senior participated in an exciting weekend for the Wildcats, who went 2-0 Saturday.

Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Alex Chatt prepares to hit the ball. The senior participated in an exciting weekend for the Wildcats, who went 2-0 Saturday.

Calvin Alexander, Reporter

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Women’s Tennis


Northwestern pulled out a thrilling win over No. 22 Washington on Saturday and followed it up with a rout of Milwaukee later in the day.

The Wildcats (5-3) entered the day on a three-match losing streak, and freshman Inci Ogut said she recognized the importance of these two wins.

“This was very important for the team,” she said. “We were not at our best these past weeks, but this is a sign of better things to come.”

The Cats went down 3-0 to the Huskies (7-4) before winning four matches in a row and completing their comeback.

The first point did not go as expected, as NU dropped its first doubles point of the season. After taking No. 2 doubles and dropping No. 1 doubles, the Cats’ pair of junior Rheeya Doshi and sophomore Julie Byrne fought back, only to lose the set 7-6 (3) and concede the doubles point.

“We didn’t play a great doubles point, I’m a bit disappointed with that,” coach Claire Pollard said. “It’s poetic justice that we win finally after losing the doubles point.”

The losing continued into the start of the singles portion. Junior Lee Or lost quickly and senior Alex Chatt followed suit. Down 3-0, the Cats needed to win every remaining match to sneak away with the win.

The comeback began with a 6-2, 6-4 win from senior Maddie Lipp. Byrne and senior Erin Larner followed Lipp with two straight-set wins of their own, leveling the match at 3-3.

“We responded really well to dropping the doubles point,” Larner said. “We knew we needed to go out and dominate and we did.”

With the score tied, the only match left was at No. 5 singles between Ogut and Washington’s Kenadi Hance. It was a back-and-forth affair from the first shot to the last.

After squandering four set points, and allowing the final four games of the first set to go to deuce, Ogut finally took the set 7-5. Then, after being up a break on multiple occasions in the second set, Hance forced a tiebreaker and took it 7-6 (3), forcing a third set to decide the winner.

“I didn’t think about losing the second set,” Ogut said. “I thought of it as a new opportunity and I knew I couldn’t waste it.”

Hance got up an early break in the final set, but the NU freshman fought back and took a 5-4 lead. Just two points from victory, the chair umpire overruled a call made by Hance, giving Ogut a match point. Ogut won it and clinched the match for the Cats.

After the dramatic win, NU dispatched the winless Panthers (0-8) in the late afternoon by a score of 7-0. The Cats did not lose a set in the quick win, capping off the doubleheader.

“It’s another weekend down,” Pollard said. “Time to roll our sleeves up and get ready for the next one.”

Email: calvinalexander2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @CalvAlexander

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