Women’s Tennis: Northwestern loses tight road battle with Georgia Tech 4-3


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

Junior Justine Leong readies for a serve. Leong helped Northwestern secure the doubles point against Georgia Tech, but it wasn’t enough for the Wildcats, who lost a close battle 4-3.

Alex Cervantes, Reporter

After splitting a pair of matches at ITA Kickoff Weekend, Northwestern traveled to Atlanta, Ga. on Sunday in hopes of knocking off Georgia Tech in its final road trip until March. 

However, it was not to be, as the Wildcats (1-3, 0-0 Big Ten) fell in a tight battle with the Yellow Jackets 4-3. 

NU got on the board early with a doubles point win, its second in a row. A convincing 6-3 victory from juniors Justine Leong and Christina Hand gave the Cats an early advantage. Georgia Tech fought back behind a 6-3 win, defeating NU’s No. 1 doubles pairing of first-year Sydney Pratt and senior Hannah McColgan. However, the Cats got a crucial 7-6 (7-3) victory from senior Clarissa Hand and sophomore Maria Shusharina. 

NU looked to capitalize on the momentum from its 1-0 lead in singles. The Cats rolled out the same sextet from their Jan. 30 victory over Penn State, albeit in a slightly rearranged order. 

Clarissa Hand, who sits 94th in the country in singles rankings, remained first on the card for coach Claire Pollard. Shusharina also held firm in the No. 2 spot. Leong and Pratt flipped places at Nos. 3 and 4, with graduate student Ema Lazic and McColgan sliding in the final two slots. 

The Yellow Jackets rebounded from the doubles point fast, as No. 85 Carol Lee beat Clarissa Hand in straight sets. The speed at which the first singles match finished was emblematic of the rest of the day.

Shusharina and Lazic were the only NU players to secure victories in singles — both coming in straight set victories. In fact, every singles match finished in two-set sweeps, with Georgia Tech grabbing the necessary fourth win to secure the victory over the Cats. 

Despite the loss, NU will finally make its home debut against Notre Dame on Sunday. The match against the Fighting Irish will be followed by a pair of matches against Harvard and Miami (OH) as the Cats look to find their groove in the friendly confines of the Combe Tennis Center. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @CervantesPAlex 

Related Stories:

Northwestern women’s tennis prepares for Sunday test against Georgia Tech 

Northwestern women’s tennis beats Penn State, falls to Wake Forest

Northwestern women’s tennis falls 5-2 to Vanderbilt in opening match