May 13, 2011
Site: Evanston, Ill.
Score: No. 14 Northwestern 4, IPFW 0
Records: NU (21-7, 9-1 Big Ten) IPFW (27-4, 8-0 Summit)
Next NU Event: Saturday, May 14 vs. Notre Dame Evanston, Ill. Noon Live Results
Schedule Note (updated 10:30 a.m. Saturday): Today's tennis match between Northwestern and Notre Dame will take place indoors at the Combe Tennis Center (2311 N Campus Drive, Evanston).
NCAA Regional Tournament Website
EVANSTON, Ill. -- It seemed as though nothing was going to stop Northwestern from advancing to the second round of the NCAA Championship, not even a change of venue. NU and IPFW opened their first-round match outdoors, but with fog rolling in and the threat of rain looming, the singles matches were forced indoors to the Combe Tennis Center. After settling in, the 'Cats were able to take care of the Mastodons with ease, 4-0.
"It felt like two different matches for us," said head coach Claire Pollard, "one indoor and one out. It was a strange set of circumstances, but we managed. I thought we played a good doubles point and really came through in with singles as well."
Northwestern began the day strong outdoors with the doubles point. NU's No. 3 team of Elena Chernyakova and Brittany Wowchuk were able to fend off IPFW's Raquel Vescovi and Yuka Kobayashi, 8-1, to earn their sixth-straight doubles win.
With the point in sight, the Wildcats' No. 2 team of Maria Mosolova and Belinda Niu dug in to finish off the Mastodons' Caterina Kiefer and Alexandra Forsyth, 8-1. After a few unfinished matches and a loss in the Big Ten Tournament, Mosolova and Niu rebounded on Friday and are now 16-5 on the season, tied for the most wins for Northwestern. The win sealed the first team point for the Wildcats, just in time as the weather began to turn.
After about 30 minutes of switching venues, Northwestern wasted no time asserting itself as four 'Cats sprinted to leads of 4-0 or greater in their respective first sets.
IPFW's Caterina Kiefer was forced to retire due to an injury while she trailed NU's Kate Turvy in the first set, 3-0. With the default win, Northwestern took a 2-0 team advantage and Turvy added to her team-best singles winning streak, which has reached five matches.
From there, it was a race to the finish for NU. Northwestern's Nos. 5 and 6 competitors, Linda Abu Mushrefova and Stacey Lee each distanced themselves from their IPFW foes.
At No. 6, Lee never lost a game to Alexandra Forsyth, defeating the junior 6-0, 6-0. Only minutes later, Abu Mushrefova, playing at No. 5, won her first set with relative ease as well, 6-1, over IPFW's Yuka Kobayashi. The Wildcat sophomore put away Kobayashi with a quick second set, earning a 6-1, 6-0 victory and securing the first-round victory over IPFW.
With the first round in hand, three matches were left unfinished. At No. 1, Maria Mosolova got off to a quick start against Amy Recht, the Summit League Player of the Year, and was leading, 6-2, 4-1 when the match was abandoned. At No. 2, freshman standout Belinda Niu was ahead of Ingrid Ballus, 6-2, 2-1 in a hard-fought match. And Brittany Wowchuk had a great outing at No. 3, having a 6-0, 5-2 advantage over Raquel Vescovi before Abu Mushrefova's clinching point.
Up next for Northwestern is a rematch against No. 20 Notre Dame. The Irish and 'Cats met once this year in April when Northwestern came back from a 3-0 deficit to take home a 4-3 victory in Evanston. A win would secure Northwestern's eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA Round of 16. Ticket prices for the match are $8 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and youth. The first 50 Northwestern students in attendance will be admitted at no charge courtesy of Northwestern Athletics.
NCAA Championship First Round
No. 14 Northwestern 4, IPFW 0
1: #10 Maria Mosolova (NU) vs. Amy Recht (IPFW), 6-2, 4-1, unf.
2: #68 Belinda Niu (NU) vs. Ingrid Ballus (IPFW) 6-2, 2-1, unf.
3: #78 Brittany Wowchuk (NU) vs. Raquel Vescovi (IPFW) 6-0, 5-2, unf.
4: Kate Turvy (NU) def. Caterina Kiefer (IPFW) 3-0, ret.
5: Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU) def. Yuka Kobayashi (IPFW) 6-1, 6-0
6: Stacey Lee (NU) def. Alexandra Forsyth (IPFW), 6-0, 6-0
1: Amy Recht/Ingrid Ballus (IPFW) vs. #12 Linda Abu Mushrefova/Nida Hamilton (NU), 4-3
2: Maria Mosolova/Belinda Niu (NU) def. Caterina Kiefer/Alexandra Forsyth (IPFW), 8-1
3: Elena Chernyakova/Brittany Wowchuk (NU) def. Raquel Vescovi/Yuka Kobayashi (IPFW), 8-1
Order of Finish:
Singles (4, 6, 5*)
Doubles (3, 2*)
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