Women’s Tennis: Northwestern rebounds against Penn State after close loss to Wake Forest


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

Senior Hannah McColgan gets set during a match. McColgan’s straight sets singles victory over Penn State on Sunday helped Northwestern secure their first win of the season.

Alex Cervantes, Reporter

Northwestern rebounded on Sunday with a narrow 4-3 victory over Penn State following an opening loss to Wake Forest at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kickoff Weekend.

The Wildcats (1-2, 0-0 Big Ten) opened the weekend slate with a tough loss at the hands of the Demon Deacons. 

Wake Forest made a clean sweep of the doubles matches, with the No. 2 ranked pairing of Anna Brylin and Brooke Killingsworth defeating NU senior Hannah McColgan and first-year Sydney Pratt. No. 15 Samantha Martinelli and Casie Wooten also beat the Cats’ duo of junior Briana Crowley and sophomore Maria Shusharina to secure the doubles point for the Demon Deacons. 

Junior Christina Hand and first-year Justine Leong were leading 5-4 in their match when doubles was called.  

An early straight sets victory from Wooten gave Wake Forest an early 2-0 lead. Despite the deficit, NU battled back. An impressive turnaround from Shusharina put the Cats on the board. 

In the No. 1 singles matchup and a nationally-ranked duel between senior Clarissa Hand — 94th in the latest ITA poll — and No. 35 Carolyn Campana, it was Clarissa Hand who came out on top. She closed out Campana with a 6-2 third set showing. 

Nonetheless, NU fell 4-2 to the Demon Deacons behind victories from No. 2 and No. 5 on the roster.

Heading into Sunday, the Cats were still searching for their first win of the season. They were able to get into the win column, edging out Penn State in a close 4-3 affair. 

NU secured their first doubles point of the season with a 6-4 win from Crowley and Shusharina, plus a 7-5 victory from Christina Hand and Leong. 

Clarissa Hand retired in the first set and McColgan replaced Crowley on the card in an eventful start to the singles matches. Straight set victories from Pratt at No. 4, graduate student Ema Lazic at No. 5 and McColgan at No. 6 to secure the 4-3 victory for the Cats. 

NU will travel to Georgia Tech on Feb. 6 before returning to Evanston for a home debut against Notre Dame a week later.

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Twitter: @CervantesPAlex 

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