Feb. 16, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 2 Northwestern swept both singles and doubles en route to a 7-0 win over Penn State in its Big Ten opener Saturday at the Combe Tennis Center. NU took five matches in straight sets and surrendered one game or less in eight sets. The Wildcats host No. 25 Michigan at 11 a.m. Sunday.
With the win, Northwestern improves to 7-1. The loss drops Penn State to 1-5.
Northwestern swept doubles to take a 1-0 lead in the Big Ten opener. All three matches started close, but the Wildcats seized control at No. 1 and No. 2. At No. 1, Lauren Lui and Samantha Murray took a break at 4-2 and held quickly to take a 5-2 lead over Katelyn BeVard and Sarah Lotto. The 'Cats took another break when Murray showed some touch at the net to give the pair a 6-2 advantage. The seventh-ranked tandem did not surrender another game to take the match, 8-2.
At No. 2, Georgia Rose and Alexis Conill also got a break at 4-2 and maintained control of the match from that point on over Lauren Holzberg and Lauren McCarthy. A pair of Conill overhead winners gave the 'Cats a 7-2 lead and a down the line passing shot by Rose on match point gave the Wildcats the doubles point.
The match at No. 3 between Nazlie Ghazal and Maria Mosolova and Penn State's Leyla Morzan and Jenny Shular was closely-contested and stayed on serve until the Wildcats took a break at 6-4. Neither team could hold serve down the stretch as PSU broke back to close to 6-5, but the 'Cats took another break at 7-5 and won the match on a Nittany Lion unforced error on match point #3.
Northwestern clinched the dual in rapid fashion, taking less than an hour to build a 4-0 lead. Mosolova, the nation's second-ranked singles player, downed BeVard, 6-0, 6-0, with a variety of passing shots.
Sophomore Suzie Matzenauer
extended her winning streak at No. 6 to 14 dating back to last season by coasting to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Denisa Zobeideh. The ninth-ranked Rose clinched the dual for the Wildcats with a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 2 over Shular. The junior tracked down almost everything on the court and used several lobs to take the straight-set win.
At No. 4, the 68th-ranked Lui disposed of Dohanics in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0, and at No. 5, Ghazal trailed briefly in the second set, but stormed back to take her match in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.
With the 'Cats up 6-0, the only match left on the courts was the No. 3 singles match between the 20th-ranked Murray and Lauren Holzberg. Murray lost a tight first set, 6-4, but came back to win an even closer second set, 7-5. The sophomore won the match tiebreaker, 10-7, to give NU the dual sweep.
Northwestern returns to action at 11 a.m. Sunday against No. 25 Michigan.
No. 1 - #7 Lui/Murray (NU) def. Lotto/BeVard, 8-3
No. 2 - Rose/Conill (NU) def. McCarthy/Holzberg (PSU), 8-2
No. 3 - Mosolova/Ghazal (NU) def. Shular/Morzan (PSU), 8-5<
No. 1 - #2 Mosolova (NU) def. BeVard (PSU), 6-0, 6-0
No. 2 - #9 Rose (NU) def. Shular (PSU), 6-1, 6-0
No. 3 - #20 Murray (NU) def. Holzberg (PSU), 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-7)
No. 4 - #68 Lui (NU) def. Dohanics (PSU), 6-2, 6-0
No. 5 - #99 Ghazal (NU) def. McCarthy (PSU), 6-1, 6-4
No. 6 - Matzenauer (NU) def. Zobeideh (PSU), 6-1, 6-1