Jan. 21, 2011
Site: Nashville, Tenn.
Score: No. 26 Vanderbilt 4, No. 9 Northwestern 3
Records: NU (0-1, 0-0 Big Ten), Vanderbilt (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Jan. 23 at No. 16 Georgia Tech Atlanta, Ga. 11 a.m. CT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In a five-hour long dual match that saw both teams gain the upper hand at various points, No. 9 Northwestern was ultimately edged, 4-3, in its season-opening dual at No. 26 Vanderbilt Friday night. NU won singles matches over ranked opponents at each of the top three spots of the lineup, but in the end could not make up an early deficit after losing the doubles point.
"We certainly expected that Vanderbilt would be a tough test right out of the gates for us and that's exactly what it was," said Northwestern head coach Claire Pollard. "Both teams battled hard to the point where it didn't feel like the first match of the year. We're going to go to Georgia Tech and try to play a little more consistent tennis on Sunday."
The dual opened with doubles where a strong Vanderbilt lineup was able to secure the 1-0 lead after the first two matches off the courts. Vandy fielded the nation's 20th-ranked tandem of Rachael Dillon and Alex Leatu at No. 2, where they won an 8-3 outcome against NU's Elena Chernyakova and Maria Mosolova.
Keilly Ulery and Lauren Mira locked up the point for the Commodores with an 8-4 victory against Kate Turvy and Brittany Wowchuk at No. 3. The Wildcats' 30th-ranked team of Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton came through with a win over a ranked opponent, defeating No. 53 Chelsea Preeg and Jackie Wu, 8-4.
Despite the loss of the doubles point, the Wildcats managed to win two of the first three singles matches to come off the courts, beginning at No. 3 where Turvy easily handled the 89th-ranked Preeg, 6-1, 6-0. After No. 64 Dillon posted a Commodore win in two sets at No. 4 over freshman Belinda Niu
, NU's senior Maria Mosolova
leveled the team score at two with her 6-3, 6-3 defeat of No. 50 Alex Leatu.
Vanderbilt pushed the Wildcats to the brink of defeat with a three-set win at No. 5 by No. 119 Lauren Mira, but Wowchuk answered by edging No. 83 Jackie Wu in a tough third set at No. 2 to win 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
That left the outcome to be decided by the No. 6 singles match between Stacey Lee and Keilly Ulery, which was delayed in starting due to Vanderbilt's five-court indoor setup. Lee was strong at the outset, winning the first set 6-1, before Ulery answered by taking the second 6-4. The Commodore seized a 3-0 advantage in the third and held that break lead until Lee rallied to tie the score at five. But Ulery prevailed down the stretch, clinching the dual for the home side and handing Lee just her seventh career dual match defeat.
Northwestern's season-opening road trip continues Sunday when they face No. 16 Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Start time is set for 11 a.m. and live stats are available by clicking here.
No. 26 Vanderbilt 4, No. 9 Northwestern 3
1: #52 Maria Mosolova (NU) def. #50 Alex Leatu (VU), 6-3, 6-3
2: #66 Brittany Wowchuk (NU) def. #83 Jackie Wu (VU), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
3: #120 Kate Turvy (NU) def. #89 Chelsea Preeg (VU), 6-1, 6-0
4: #64 Rachael Dillon (VU) def. #76 Belinda Niu (NU), 6-2, 6-4
5: #119 Lauren Mira (VU) def. Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
6: Keilly Ulery (VU) def. Stacey Lee (NU), 1-6, 6-4, 7-5
1: #30 Abu Mushrefova/Hamilton (NU) def. #53 Preeg/Wu (VU), 8-4
2: #20 Dillon/Leatu (VU) def. Chernyakova/Mosolova (NU), 8-3
3: Ulery/Mira (VU) def. Turvy/Wowchuk (NU), 8-4
Order of Finish:
Singles (3, 4, 1, 5, 2, 6*)
Doubles (2, 3*, 1)
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