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Jan. 16, 2005
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern finished its weekend competition on a strong note Sunday, claiming five of six singles matches against Penn State and winning one singles competition against Wisconsin.
All five of NU's singles winners against the Nittany Lions did so in straight sets. Even so, Northwestern's big guns -- No. 1 Audra Cohen (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) and No. 4 Cristelle Grier -- were tested by their opposition.
Cohen was automatic in her first set, winning 6-0. But Penn State's Katelyn Be Vard had the freshman phenom on her heels in the second frame, 3-2. Be Vard may have smelled an upset for a brief moment, but it was short-lived, as Cohen rambled off four-straight games to take the match and improve to 2-0 on the weekend.
Grier was similarly tested in the second set of her match against Maaria Husain. After opening with a 6-1 win in the first set, Grier fell behind 4-3 in the second frame. But she rallied with three-straight victories to win her second singles match of the weekend.
Sophomore Alexis Prousis (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) defeated Sasha Abraham 6-1, 6-1. Junior Jamie Peisel (Savannah, Ga./Savannah Country Day) took down Jenny Shular 6-0, 6-3. With the wins, both `Cats improved to 2-0 on the weekend.
Freshman Alexis Conill (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) beat Lindsay Downing 6-2, 6-0 from Penn State to start her day. Conill later played Lexi Goldin from Wisconsin in which she had to fight her way back after getting shut out in the first set 6-0. Conill won the second set 6-4 before winning a tie-breaker 10-3, winning the match and improving to 3-0 on the weekend.
Senior Kristi Roemer (Piedmont, Calif./Piedmont) fell to Andrea Niculescu, 6-2, 6-3. Roemer finished 1-1 on the weekend.
The `Cats also competed against Wisconsin in doubles action. Cohen and Grier -- No. 1 duo in the nation -- took the court against Lindsay Martin and Katie McGaffigan - No. 27 duo in the nation. Northwestern's top team got all it could handle from Martin and McGaffigan, as the two teams traded points back-and-forth.
Cohen and Grier ultimately prevailed 8-6.
Graduate student Valerie Vladea (Tiffin, Iowa/Burlington Central) teamed with Prousis to defeat Burke and Beck 8-5. Peisel and Roemer completed the sweep for the `Cats by running the table against Harclerode and Niculescu 8-0.