April 9, 2008
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Northwestern survived a scare Wednesday during its trip to South Bend, with the No. 1 'Cats prevailing in a 4-3 victory over No. 16 Notre Dame. The Wildcats extend their winning streak to 14 with a defeat of the Irish, and have just three dual matches remaining before the Big Ten Championship later this month.
The Wildcats (20-1, 7-0) went down 1-0 after failing to clinch the doubles point for the first time since late February. At No. 2, Georgia Rose (Mettawa, Ill./North Shore Country Day) and Alexis Conill (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) cruised through their opponent with ease, picking up an 8-1 victory.
At No. 1 however, Samantha Murray (Altrincham, England/Altrincham Grammar) and Lauren Lui (Houston, Texas/Kinkaid) knew they had a full-plate ahead with their match against the top-ranked doubles duo in the nation. The top tandem from Notre Dame continued to prove they deserve the ranking with an 8-2 defeat of the Wildcats' No. 13-ranked pair.
After taking an early 3-0 lead at No. 3, Maria Mosolova (Moscow, Russia/No. 204) and Nazlie Ghazal (Temecula, Calif.) lost a bit of their swagger in letting the Irish fight back. As the match drew near end, the Wildcats were unable to overcome their opponents and fell, 8-5, securing the doubles point for Notre Dame.
Northwestern tied the match 1-1 when Ghazal found redemption in singles, winning in straights sets at No. 5, 6-3, 6-3. With the win, Ghazal extends her dual winning streak to nine matches and improves to 16-2 from No. 5 this season.
Notre Dame regained the lead, taking a 2-1 advantage at No. 3, when Murray fell, 6-3, 6-2, to her nationally ranked opponent. A short time later, Lauren Lui
re-tied the match, 2-2, with a 6-2, 7-5 win at No. 4. With the win, Lui extends her singles unbeaten streak to 14 this season and improves to 17-0 from No. 4. She has won 24-consecutive matches from No. 4 dating to last year.
The Wildcats went ahead 3-2, when Suzie Matzenauer (Tacoma, Wash./Bellarmine) won at No. 6. After taking the first set 6-4, Matzenauer fell in a tight second set, 6-7. Understanding the importance of a win for her team, in the third set Matzenauer came out firing and took the final frame, 6-0.
Maria Mosolova clinched the match for the 'Cats with her win at No. 1. After a tough battle with her 41st-ranked opponent, Mosolova took the match in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5, ensuring a 4-2 advantage and Northwestern its 14th-consecutive victory.
At No. 2, Georgia Rose closed out the match, using all three sets before falling to her opponent. After Rose dropped the first set, 6-2, she came out with confidence and determination, winning the second set 6-4. Rose tried to settle into a groove for the `superbreaker,' but the play of her opponent overcame hers and she barely lost the third set 1-0 (7).
Despite a few losses at singles and doubles Wednesday, the Wildcats move forward with confidence after a 4-3 dual match win over a highly ranked rival, and a winning streak that remains intact.
Northwestern returns to action this weekend for a pair of Big Ten matches as its road trip continues. The Wildcats travel to No. 47 Iowa at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 12, before heading to Minneapolis to face No. 73 Minnesota at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 13. The 'Cats' final dual match of the season will be held in Evanston against Michigan State at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 19, in a match that is schedule to be featured on the Big Ten Network.
1. #3 Maria Mosolova (NU) def. #41 Kelcy Tefft (ND) 6-1, 7-5
2. Brook Buck (ND) def. #5 Georgia Rose (NU) 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7)
3. #122 Cosmina Ciobanu (ND) def. #25 Samantha Murray (NU) 6-3, 6-2
4. #42 Lauren Lui (NU) def. Colleen Rielley (ND) 6-2, 7-5
5. Nazlie Ghazal (NU) def. Kali Krisik (ND) 6-3, 6-3
6. Suzie Matzenauer (NU) def. Katie Potts (ND) 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-0
1. #1 Brook Buck/Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. #13 Samantha Murray/Lauren Lui (NU) 8-2
2. Georgia Rose/Alexis Conill (NU) def. Kali Krisik/Kristen Rafael (ND) 8-1
3. Cosmina Ciobanu/Colleen Rielley (ND) def. Nazlie Ghazal/Maria Mosolova (NU) 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,3,4,6,1,2)