March 24, 2010
DURHAM, N.C. -- For the second time in as many days, No. 2 Northwestern brought home the doubles point but was unable to make the lead stand up in singles as the Wildcats lost a 5-2 decision to eighth-ranked Duke Wednesday at the Ambler Tennis Stadium. Junior Maria Mosolova, ranked No. 11 nationally, recorded her fifth consecutive singles win and the 99th of her Northwestern career in the loss.
The 'Cats fall to 13-3 in dual action this season--with all three losses coming to squads currently ranked in the top eight nationally--while defending NCAA champion Duke improves to 13-2. Wednesday marks the first time in more than four full years that NU has dropped consecutive dual matches; as was the case this week, Northwestern lost back-to-back matches to North Carolina and Duke on Feb. 25-26, 2006.
Northwestern notched wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles to claim the doubles point for the seventh consecutive dual match. Samantha Murray and Elena Chernyakova teamed up at No. 2 for a convincing 8-2 win over Duke's Amanda Granson and Monica Gorny. The win was the third in a row for Murray and Chernyakova playing alongside one another.
NU clinched the point when Lauren Lui and Maria Mosolova defeated their second straight top-25-ranked opponent by beating No. 25 Elizabeth Plotkin and Reka Zsilinszka 8-4.
The Blue Devils pulled even at one with a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 4 by Granson against NU freshman Kate Turvy and took a 2-1 lead when 124th-ranked Monica Gorny secured a 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Chernyakova at No. 5.
Duke followed those wins by recording its third point with a 6-2, 6-0 victory at No. 2 by No. 52 Reka Zsilinskza over the 43rd-ranked Murray.
At No. 1, Mosolova held a 4-3 edge in the first set before No. 36 Ellah Nze came back to take a 6-5 lead. But Mosolova stayed strong and forced a tiebreaker where she won the set 7-6. It was all Mosolova in the ensuing set as the junior took it 6-0 to keep NU in the match trailing 3-2.
With two matches still on the courts, NU still had a chance to climb back in the match with both Lui and Stacey Lee taking second-set leads after falling in their respective first sets. Lui held a three-game advantage in the second over No. 53 Elizabeth Plotkin before the Blue Devil regained a lead and closed out a 7-5, 6-4 win to clinch the dual. Lee fought to the end in her No. 6 match against Mary Clayton, falling 6-4 in the first before forcing a tiebreaker in the second that Clayton managed to win, giving Duke its fifth point.
Northwestern can enjoy one final weekend off from competition before gearing up for the final month of the regular season, which gets underway at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 3, when the Wildcats host No. 6 Michigan at Combe Tennis Center in Evanston.
No. 8 Duke 5, No. 2 Northwestern 2
1: #11 Maria Mosolova (NU) def. #36 Ellah Nze (DUKE), 7-6, 6-0
2: #52 Reka Zsilinszka (DUKE) def. #43 Samantha Murray (NU), 6-2, 6-0
3: #56 Elizabeth Plotkin (DUKE) def. Lauren Lui (NU), 7-5, 6-4
4: Amanda Granson (DUKE) def. Kate Turvy (NU), 6-1, 6-0
5: #124 Monica Gorny (DUKE) def. Elena Chernyakova (NU), 6-1, 6-1
6: Mary Clayton (DUKE) def. Stacey Lee (NU), 6-4, 7-6
1: Lui/Mosolova (NU) def. #25 Plotkin/Zsilinszka (DUKE), 8-4
2: Chernyakova/Murray (NU) def. Granson/Gorny (DUKE), 8-2
3: Nze/Clayton (DUKE) def. Abu Mushrefova/Lee (NU), 8-4
Order of Finish
Singles: (4, 5, 2, 1, 3*, 6)
Doubles: (2, 1*, 3)