Women’s Tennis: Northwestern to end fall in the bayou with Tiger Fall Classic


Daily file photo by Brian Meng

Lee Or prepares to hit a backhand shot. The senior and her teammate sophomore Inci Ogut advanced to the semi-finals of their last tournament.

Peter Warren, Sports Editor

Women’s Tennis

After two successful tournaments to start the year, Northwestern is down in the bayou this weekend to wrap up its fall season at the Tiger Fall Classic.

The event will feature four teams — Louisiana State, Boston College, a combined team of Central Florida and Southern Methodist and the inexperienced Wildcats.

“We lost a lot last year but I think we added some great pieces,” coach Claire Pollard said. “It’s still very early but we’ve worked hard this fall and it will be nice to see how we perform when it sort of matters.”

The four teams will all face off over the course of three days. Friday, NU will play doubles against UCF/SMU and then play singles against the Tigers. Saturday, the Cats will contest doubles against the Eagles and LSU before ending the day with singles matches against UCF/SMU. They will play only round of matches Sunday, a set of singles contests against Boston College.

Pollard said one of the biggest things she is looking at for this tournament is her lineup.

“I would like to figure out our doubles — that’s my main concern,” she added. “I want see how the middle of the lineup is going to perform.”

At NU’s last competition — the ITA Midwest Regional in Ann Arbor, Michigan, freshman Clarissa Hand was the highest-placing finisher. The New Jersey native made it to the semifinals of the tournament before falling to Michigan’s Chiara Lommer in the semifinals, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.

On her way to the semifinals, Hand beat Giulia Pairone of the Wolverines, who was the No. 2 seed in the bracket, in the quarterfinals.

“I was really happy with my results,” Hand said. “Obviously there were things I need to work and that’s what I did as soon as I got back. (The) first few weeks have been pretty good for me.”

In the doubles portion of the event, the duos of junior Julie Byrne and senior Rheeya Doshi and senior Lee Or and sophomore Inci Ogut both advanced to the semifinals.

As an individual, Byrne made it to the quarterfinals of the singles bracket before also being beaten by Lommer. She said the Cats’ roster comprises of strong returners and promising freshmen, but one particular characteristic of the team sticks out.

“Our competitiveness is one of our strengths,” Byrne said. “If we put in a lot of work, we all know how well we can play.”

After this tournament, the Cats will not lace up their tennis shoes until they face Miami in south Florida in January.

Pollard said that work always continues and that she hopes the team remains on top of its game as the season further progresses.

“You are always trying to get the pieces right,” Pollard said. “You are trying to make sure your chemistry is good, that your culture is good. That everyone sort of close to being on the same page and puts the team before themselves.”

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