Feb. 10, 2008
MADISON, Wis. -- One week after Northwestern knocked Georgia Tech from its number one ranking, the fourth-ranked Yellow Jackets defeated the third-ranked Wildcats in the finals of the ITA Indoor Championships, 4-2. NU made its first finals appearance in program history and was the first Big Ten team to advance to the final match.
The loss is Northwestern's first on the year and drops the 'Cats to 6-1. The win improves Georgia Tech's record to 6-1 as well.
Similar to the last meeting between the two teams, the crucial doubles point came down to the match at No. 1 doubles. However, it was the Yellow Jackets that came away from the doubles portion with a 1-0 lead this time.
In contrast to the last meeting, the Wildcats took the match at No. 2 doubles when Alexis Conill and Georgia Rose opened up a 6-3 lead and kept the pair of Whitney McCray and Amanda McDowell off the board the rest of the way to win 8-3.
At No. 3, Tech's Christy Striplin and Noelle Hickley took an early 3-2 lead and shut out Maria Mosolova and Nazlie Ghazal the rest of the way to take an 8-2 victory.
Again, the battle at No. 1 doubles determined the doubles point. Lauren Lui and Samantha Murray led 2-1 early, but went behind at 5-4 and could not climb back. The pair fell to Tech's Kristi Miller and Kirsten Flower, 8-5.
NU took wins at No. 1 and No. 6 singles, but Tech won three matches to claim the championship.
At No. 1, the ninth-ranked Rose opened up an early first-set lead over the seventh-ranked Miller and took the first frame, 6-3.
Georgia Tech opened up a 2-0 lead when the 38th-ranked Striplin defeated Ghazal at No. 4, 6-3, 6-2. The Wildcats closed to 2-1 when Rose defeated Miller at No. 1, 6-3, 6-1.
The Wildcats were in a precarious position down 2-1 with Lui at No. 4 and Murray at No. 3 both down a set. The second-ranked Mosolova captured her first set over the third-ranked McDowell at No. 2 and Suzie Matzenauer was up a set at No. 6 over the 56th-ranked Hickey.
NU evened the dual at 2-2 when Matzenauer downed Hickey at No. 6, 6-2, 6-4, but Tech took the lead back when the 22nd-ranked McCray defeated the 20th-ranked Murray at No. 3 in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5. The match was still within reach for the Wildcats as Mosolova was headed to a third set, and Lui, despite falling in her first set, was up early in the second.
Lui could not hold on in the second and fell in straight sets to Flower, 6-4, 7-6 (5) to seal the match for Georgia Tech. Mosolova's match was abandoned with the freshman leading 5-3 in the third.
Northwestern begins its quest for a record 10th Big Ten title when it welcomes Penn State and Michigan to the Combe Tennis Center next week. The 'Cats open the Big Ten slate at 11 a.m. Saturday against the Nittany Lions.
Georgia Tech 4, Northwestern 2
1. #9 Rose (NU) def. #7 Miller (GT), 6-3, 6-1
2. #2 Mosolova (NU) vs. #3 McDowell (GT), 6-4, 2-6, 5-3, DNF
3. #22 McCray (GT) def. Murray (NU), 6-1, 7-5
4. #38 Striplin (GT) def. #99 Ghazal (NU), 6-3, 6-2
5. Flower (GT) def. #68 Lui (NU), 6-4, 7-6 (5)
6. Matzenauer (NU) def. #56 Hickey (GT), 6-2, 6-4
1. Miller/Flower (GT) def. #7 Lui/Murray (NU), 8-5
2. Conill/Rose (NU) def. McCray/McDowell (GT), 8-3
3. Striplin/Hickey (GT) def. Mosolova/Ghazal (NU), 8-2