March 29, 2014
||#11 Northwestern 6, #54 Ohio State 1
Combe Tennis Center • Evanston, Ill.
EVANSTON, Ill. - Lok Sze Leung won her first career Big Ten match on Saturday, and Northwestern bested Ohio State for the 15th-straight time, downing the Buckeyes 6-1 at the Combe Tennis Center.
Manon Peri won in very quick fashion at No. 4 singles, easing past Nicole Flower, 6-0, 6-1. Peri is 4-1 since moving to the fourth spot in singles play. Alicia Barnett improved to 4-0 in conference play with a 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Miho Kowase at No. 3. Leung followed with her first career conference win, taking down Grainne O'Neill, 6-3, 6-1, and clinching the overall match for the Wildcats.
With the NU win already in hand, Belinda Niu fought through a tough second set at No. 2, prevailing 6-2, 7-6 (4). Niu bounced back from her first two losses of the year earlier this week to grab her 10th win of the season.
The remaining two matches required third sets. Veronica Corning was defeated in a back and forth battle by Gabriella De Santis. After splitting the first two sets, De Santis overcame a 5-2 deficit in the third frame to win, 7-5, and give Ohio State its lone point of the match. Nida Hamilton finished the afternoon with a super-breaker win over Noelle Malley. Hamilton trailed 3-0 in the third set but came back to win, 10-8, remaining undefeated in 2014 at 8-0.
Northwestern is undefeated when claiming the doubles point, pushing its record to 9-0 when scoring first. Peri and Niu made quick work of the opposition, downing Kelsey Becker and Sandy Niehaus, 8-2. Corning and Barnett, the 21st-ranked duo in the nation, ended doubles play with an 8-4 win over Grainne O'Neill and Noelle Malley at No. 1. Hamilton and Maddie Lipp held a 7-3 lead in the No. 2 spot when their match was abandoned.
The `Cats will host Penn State on Sunday at 11 a.m. The match has been moved inside to the Combe Tennis Center.
No. 1 - Gabriella De Santis (OSU) def. #44 Veronica Corning (NU), 6-2, 2-6, 7-5
No. 2 - #36 Belinda Niu (NU) def. Sandy Niehaus (OSU), 6-2, 7-6 (4)
No. 3 - Alicia Barnett (NU) def. Miho Kowase (OSU), 6-3, 6-3
No. 4 - Manon Peri (NU) def. Nicole Flower (OSU), 6-0, 6-1
No. 5 - Nida Hamilton (NU) def. Noelle Malley (OSU), 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-8)
No. 6 - Lok Sze Leung (NU) def. Grainne O'Neill (OSU), 6-3, 6-1
Order of Finish: 4, 3, 6*, 2, 1, 5
No. 1 - #21 Veronica Corning / Alicia Barnett (NU) def. #69 Grainne O'Neill / Noelle Malley (OSU), 8-4
No. 2 - #72 Nida Hamilton / Maddie Lipp (NU) vs. Gabriella De Santis / Miho Kowase (OSU), 7-3 (unfinished)
No. 3 - Manon Peri / Belinda Niu (NU) def. Kelsey Becker / Sandy Niehaus (OSU), 8-2
Order of Finish: 3, 1*
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