Women’s Tennis: Northwestern splits pair of matches to conclude regular season


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

Junior Justine Leong prepares to hit a shot. Leong went 1-1 in singles over the weekend as Northwestern split a pair of matches to conclude the regular season.

Alex Cervantes, Assistant Sports Editor

Women’s Tennis

A weekend road trip to Michigan served as the backdrop for the conclusion of Northwestern’s regular season.

The first stop on the two-leg journey saw the Wildcats (13-8, 8-3 Big Ten) face a struggling Michigan State squad in East Lansing.

NU didn’t skip a beat, securing the doubles point in quick fashion. The pairing of juniors Briana Crowley and Christina Hand was nearly perfect at No. 2, winning 6-1. Senior Hannah McColgan and freshman Sydney Pratt at No. 3 were just as dominant, snagging a 6-2 victory to take the point.

The Cats followed up their doubles performance with a commanding and domineering effort in singles play over the Spartans. Graduate student Ema Lazic was the first to grab a victory with a 6-2, 6-0 victory at No. 4. Up 2-0, sophomore Maria Shusharina made quick work of her opponent, defeating them in straight sets to grab a third point. And in the No. 5 slot, junior Justine Leong’s result mirrored Lazic as she wrapped up a 4-0 victory for NU.

Just 24 hours later, the Cats shifted gears for a clash with No. 23 Michigan in Ann Arbor.

But this time around, Sunday Funday escaped NU, as the Wolverines’ impressive play dispatched the visiting side.

The Cats were faster than Michigan out of the gates, with the No. 1 pairing of Shusharina and senior Clarissa Hand earning a 6-3 victory in doubles. In need of one more win to secure the doubles point, NU failed to get over the hump. Two 7-6 victories on the remaining courts allowed the Wolverines to grab a 1-0 lead.

Michigan never looked back. Despite a 6-3, 6-3 victory from Lazic that brought the match level at 1-1, the Wolverines cruised to the finish line. Leong and Shusharina struggled in straight set defeats, while Clarissa Hand fell short in a three-set battle at No. 1 as Michigan emerged victorious 4-1.

All eyes now turn towards the Big Ten Tournament which begins on Wednesday. As the No. 3 seed, NU earned a double-bye and will play in the quarterfinals Friday at noon CT. The Cats will face either Nebraska, Purdue or Rutgers.

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