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Women’s Tennis: Northwestern remains undefeated in Big Ten

Inci+Ogut+swings+at+the+ball.+The+freshman+has+won+eight+of+12+singles+matches+this+season%2C+helping+Northwestern+climb+to+No.+13+as+a+team.
Inci Ogut swings at the ball. The freshman has won eight of 12 singles matches this season, helping Northwestern climb to No. 13 as a team.

Inci Ogut swings at the ball. The freshman has won eight of 12 singles matches this season, helping Northwestern climb to No. 13 as a team.

Daily file photo by Brian Meng

Daily file photo by Brian Meng

Inci Ogut swings at the ball. The freshman has won eight of 12 singles matches this season, helping Northwestern climb to No. 13 as a team.

Calvin Alexander, Reporter

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Women’s Tennis


Northwestern has won five of its last six matches to improve upon what has been a good season so far.

The No. 13 Wildcats (13-4, 6-0 Big Ten) beat No. 5 Georgia Tech (14-4, 6-2 ACC) and Purdue (10-8, 3-3 Big Ten) on March 9 and 10, respectively. The next weekend, the Cats trounced Indiana (14-7, 2-4 Big Ten) by a score of 6-1. That win capped an eight-match win streak for NU.

However, on March 27, the Cats’ win streak came to a halt in Waco, Texas, at the hands of No. 26 Baylor (11-10, 1-3 Big 12).

“I was impressed by Baylor,” coach Claire Pollard said. “They played really good, you’ve got to give them credit.”

Shortly after, NU rebounded and won its two most recent matches against Maryland (7-9, 1-4 Big Ten) and Rutgers (5-9, 0-5 Big Ten).

The win over the Yellow Jackets was particularly impressive because it marked the Cats’ third top-10 win in a two-week span. It was the sixth win of their extensive string of victories; however, NU did not get complacent.

“We weren’t thinking about the eight matches we had won,” sophomore Julie Byrne said. “We knew we just had to refocus for the next one.”

Despite their high level of intensity, the Cats fell short against the Bears. They won the doubles point on the backs of Byrne and her partner, junior Rheeya Doshi, and the senior duo of Maddie Lipp and Erin Larner. But they struggled in the singles portion.

Byrne and senior Alex Chatt lost their matches quickly and each managed to win just three total games. Larner won her match, but freshman Inci Ogut lost her match in straight sets to put the Cats in a 3-2 hole.

Down 3-2, NU needed both Lipp and junior Lee Or to win for the team to take the match. To add to that pressure, both players found themselves in tight, three-set matches. Or lost her first set 6-2, but won her second by the same score. However, she faltered in the deciding set, 6-4, to clinch the match for the Bears. Lipp lost her match as well: 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2).

“Discipline was something that we have worked on for a long time,” Byrne said. “Some of us might have gotten away from that against Baylor.”

The Cats got back to winning ways with convincing results against Maryland and Rutgers. They remain unbeaten in Big Ten play after those matches.

In College Park, the Terrapins put up a fight. They won the No. 4 singles spot and took a set off Larner at No. 1 singles, but fell 6-1. When the Cats returned home to play the Scarlet Knights, it was a different story. They only dropped one set in a 7-0 rout of the Big Ten opponent. In those two matches, the players’ attitudes changed.

“We were more focused on winning rather than enjoying the game,” Ogut said. “We realized we needed to enjoy it more.”

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

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