Women’s Tennis: Northwestern perfect in sweeps of Harvard and Miami-Ohio on Sunday


Charlotte Che/The Daily Northwestern

Sophomore Maria Shusharina prepares to hit a backhand shot. Shusharina was a perfect 2-0 in singles matches in Northwestern’s pair of 7-0 victories over Harvard and Miami-Ohio on Sunday.

Alex Cervantes, Reporter

Coming off the heels of a dominant victory over Notre Dame, Northwestern didn’t skip a beat in its doubleheader on Sunday. 

The Wildcats (4-3, 0-0 Big Ten) were a perfect 7-0 in a pair of sweeps against Harvard and Miami-Ohio, respectively.

“It was a really good day for us,” sophomore Maria Shusharina said. “We got two really nice wins. Everyone on the team was fighting real well.”

NU opened the match against the Crimson with a blistering start, picking up the doubles point behind a pair of convincing wins. Junior duo Christina Hand and Briana Crowley won 6-2 at No. 3, while first-year Sydney Pratt and senior Hannah McColgan secured the point with a 6-2 win at No. 2. 

The Cats matched the energy in singles, as every player earned a straight sets victory. Pratt, who has been impressive in her first season in Evanston, nabbed the first victory, thumping her opponent 6-0, 6-1. Crowley and graduate student Ema Lazic were equally impressive in their performances, both snagging 6-2, 6-1 wins to secure the victory for the Cats.

Shusharina, Christina Hand and senior Clarissa Hand all added tallies in NU’s win column for good measure. 

The Cats couldn’t celebrate just yet, with a quick turnaround before facing Miami-Ohio just hours after the conclusion of its first match. Shusharina said coach Claire Pollard and the rest of the coaching staff did well to prepare them for the pair of matches.

“Claire told us from the beginning that it (would be) a very hard day, and you’re going to play a lot of matches and need to compete,” Shusharina said. “So we were prepared for that.”

Shusharina also said that the team’s endurance and fitness training in the fall paid dividends in preparing the squad for the homestand, evident by another clean, 7-0 sweep from NU over the visiting RedHawks.

The doubles point was once again secured early by the Crowley/Hand and Pratt/McColgan pairings. The Cats cruised to another victory behind straight set wins from Lazic, Christina Hand and Crowley. 

Shusharina — who was moved to the No. 1 spot for the Miami-Ohio match, replacing Clarissa Hand — experienced some initial trouble, dropping the first set 3-6. She rebounded, however, grabbing a 6-1 win in the second set and winning the third set 10-6.

“I saw my teammates winning … and it kind of gave me motivation to focus on the positive not on the negative,” Shusharina said. “I knew that we were in a good place. So I relaxed a little bit and it allowed me to find a better plan and execute it well.”

Now on a three-win streak, the Cats will have a short break before a road trip to Kansas to begin play in March.

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