Women’s Tennis: Northwestern shows out on home court at Wildcat Invite


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

2022 All-Big Ten honorees Clarissa Hand and Maria Shusharina on the court. Both players competed at the ITA Women’s All-American Championships from Oct. 1-4.

Kate Walter, Assistant Sports Editor

Northwestern had the home court advantage at this weekend’s Wildcat Invite while hosting six opponents.

The Wildcats achieved an impressive 10–2 doubles record and a 13–9 singles record over the course of the weekend, taking on South Florida, Michigan State, Kansas, Marquette, Iowa State and Chicago State.

NU was fiery from the start on Friday, with junior Aino Alkio and sophomore Kiley Rabjohns winning their doubles match against Marquette 6–4. Both went on to win their singles matches against the Golden Eagles as well. Senior Christina Hand and sophomore Justine Leong also commanded the court, winning both their doubles and singles matches that day. 

Alkio remained successful throughout the weekend, winning all three of her singles matches against players from Marquette and USF. Sophomore Sydney Pratt, Rabjohns and Hand each walked away with two singles victories.

Prior to the Wildcat Invite, the Cats sent two players to the ITA Women’s All-American Championships in Raleigh, North Carolina from October 1-4. The tournament featured top players in NCAA Division 1.

Junior Maria Shusharina advanced to the third round of the pre-qualifying draw at the tournament. Graduate student Clarissa Hand competed in the qualifying draw but did not advance past the first round.

Last season, the Cats achieved their 26th consecutive NCAA Tournament berth and made an appearance in the Big Ten tournament semifinals. Graduate student Clarissa Hand, NU’s only ranked singles player for most of the spring, returns to the program this year for a final season of eligibility. 

To wrap up fall play, the Cats will compete at the ITA Midwest Regionals, the ITA Fall Nationals and the Miami Invite. Dual season play begins in January.

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