Jan. 21, 2012
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Combe Tennis Center)
Score: No. 12 Northwestern 5, No. 15 Vanderbilt 2
Records: NU (1-0), Vanderbilt (5-0)
Next NU Event: January 28 -- vs. Dartmouth (Evanston, Ill.), 11 a.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 12 Northwestern kicked off the 2012 dual slate on Saturday by knocking off No. 15 Vanderbilt at the Combe Tennis Center, 5-2. The Wildcats were victorious in two of three doubles contests and four of six singles showdowns to claim victory in the nonconference clash.
The Wildcats opened the 2011 dual season in Nashville, Tenn. against the Commodores and drop a close match, 4-3. Now on their home turf, Northwestern was able to exact revenge Saturday. The 'Cats handed Vanderbilt its first loss of the season in six matches thus far.
The Wildcats won the doubles point by claiming victory in two of the three hard-fought matches. No. 6 Linda Abu Mushrefova (Bradenton, Fla./Pendleton) and Nida Hamilton (Oak Brook, Ill./Hinsdale Central) were the first to finish at the number one spot as they downed Vanderbilt's Jackie Wu and Alex Leatu, 8-4.
Northwestern's Belinda Niu (Portland, Ore./Lincoln) and Kate Turvy (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) clinched the point for the 'Cats with their 8-6 win against the Commodores' Nelly Radeva and Lauren Mira. The most thrilling of the three doubles duels was at No. 2 between Veronica Corning (Beverly, Mass./Pingree School), her partner Brittany Wowchuk (Toronto, Ontario, Canada/Oakville Trafalgar) and Ashleigh Antal and Marie Casares of Vanderbilt. The Wildcats trailed 5-1, but staged a furious rally to tie the score at five games apiece. After the Commodores won the next two games, Corning and Wowchuk battled back once again to knot the score at 7-7 and again at 8-8. The Wildcats, however, were outscored in the pro-set tiebreaker, 7-5, and they dropped the match, 9-8.
Abu Mushrefova won the second point of the afternoon after downing Vanderbilt's Radeva in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Soon thereafter, the Commodores notched a point on the scoreboard by winning the No. 2 singles match. No. 69 Mira beat Corning, 6-4, 6-1.
After cruising through the first set, 6-1, No. 26 Turvy found herself in a 4-1 hole against No. 23 Wu. The Northwestern junior would not drop a game for the duration of the set, reeling off five straight winners to clinch the math, 6-4. Niu, playing at the No. 4 position also found herself trailing early in the second set after winning the first. Like Turvy, Niu rallied to post a 7-5 win to clinch the dual triumph for the 'Cats.
Later, Wowchuk, ranked No. 86, defeated No. 110 Casares in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, to secure the fifth and final point of the afternoon for Northwestern. In the final singles battle, Stacey Lee (Old Westbury, N.Y./Wheatley) won her first set, 6-1, but lost the second, 7-5, and dropped the tiebreaker, 10-7.
The Wildcats will return to the Combe Tennis Center next Saturday, January 28 at 11 a.m. when they host Dartmouth in the opening round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. Arkansas and Nebraska will also face off in Combe (3 p.m.) with the winners playing in the Championship on Sunday at 2 p.m. and the losers squaring off in the consolation match at 10 a.m.
1. No. 26 Kate Turvy (NU) def. No. 23 Jackie Wu (VU) - 6-2, 6-4
2. No. 69 Lauren Mira (VU) def Veronica Corning (NU) - 6-4, 6-1
3. No. 86 Brittany Wowchuk (NU) def. No. 110 Marie Casares (VU) - 6-3, 6-2
4. Belinda Niu (NU) def. Alex Leatu (VU) - 6-1, 7-5
5. Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU) def. Nelly Radeva (VU) - 6-3, 6-4
6. Ashleigh Antal (VU) def. Stacey Lee (NU) - 1-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-7)
Order of finish: 5, 2, 1, 4*, 3, 6
1. Linda Abu Mushrefova/Nida Hamilton (NU) def. Jackie Wu/Alex Leatu (VU) - 8-4
2. No. 49 Ashleigh Antal/Marie Casares (VU) def. Veronica Corning/Brittany Wowchuk (NU) - 9-8 (7-5)
3. Belinda Niu/Kate Turvy (NU) def. Nelly Radeva/Lauren Mira (VU) - 8-6
Order of finish: 1, 3*, 2
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