March 1, 2014
||#7 Northwestern 4, #39 Purdue 3
Combe Tennis Center Evanston, Ill.
EVANSTON, Ill. - Belinda Niu capped a marathon match with Daniela Vidal at No. 2 singles to clinch a 4-3 victory over No. 39 Purdue on Saturday at the Combe Tennis Center. The seventh-ranked Wildcats moved to 2-0 in Big Ten play with the win, but it wasn't easy.
The `Cats jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but Purdue responded by winning two in a row to tie the overall match at three, setting the stage for a winner take all battle between Niu and Vidal. The two exchanged point after point for hours until Niu finally emerged as the victor in the deciding third set by a 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-3 score. Niu extended her current winning streak to 11 matches.
NU got off to a quick start in singles play with Alicia Barnett taking down Nicole Robinson at No. 3, 6-3, 6-2. Veronica Corning followed that up with a straight set win of her own, defeating Mara Schmidt by the same 6-3, 6-2 score at No. 1. Schmidt was the first unranked opponent Corning has faced in 2014.
Playing at No. 4, Jillian Rooney was narrowly defeated by Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum, 6-4, 6-4. Maddie Lipp also went down in straight sets at No. 6 to Andjela Djokovic, 6-3, 6-2. In a very competitive match at No. 5 Krisztina Kapitany got the best of Lok Sze Leung, prevailing in three sets, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5.
Northwestern extended its record to 7-0 when winning the doubles point this season. Victory was never in doubt for Niu and Brooke Rischbieth, playing at No. 2, as they handled Daniela Vidal and Natalia Davila, 8-1. Lipp and Manon Peri overcame a 5-4 deficit, winning the final four games of the match to win 8-4 over Claudia Escribens and Nicole Robinson. With the doubles point already in hand, Corning and Barnett attempted a comeback of their own at No. 1. Trailing 5-2 at one point against Mara Schmidt and Krisztina Kapitany, the NU duo managed to take the match into a tiebreaker where they fell 9-7.
The Wildcats will look to continue their hot start to Big Ten play when they travel to Champaign to face in-state rival Illinois next Saturday, March 8. The match is scheduled to begin at noon.
#1 - No. 49 Veronica Corning (Northwestern) def. Mara Schimdt (Purdue) 6-3, 6-2
#2 - Belinda Niu (Northwestern) def. Daniela Vidal (Purdue) 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-3
#3 - Alicia Barnett (Northwestern) def. Nicole Robinson (Purdue) 6-3, 6-2
#4 - Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum (Purdue) def. No. 110 Jillian Rooney (Northwestern) 6-4, 6-4
#5 - Krisztina Kapitany (Purdue) def. Lok Sze Leung (Northwestern) 7-5, 3-6, 7-5
#6 - Andjela Djokovic (Purdue) def. No. 97 Maddie Lipp (Northwestern) 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3, 6, 1, 4, 5, 2*
#1 - Mara Schmidt / Krisztina Kapitany (Purdue) def. No. 30 Veronica Corning / Alicia Barnett (Northwestern) 8-7 (7)
#2 - Belinda Niu / Brooke Rischbieth (Northwestern) def. Daniela Vidal / Natalia Davila (Purdue) 8-1
#3 - Maddie Lipp / Manon Peri (Northwestern) def. Claudia Escribens / Nicole Robinson (Purdue) 8-5
Order of Finish: 3, 2*, 1
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