May 23, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. -
Senior Veronica Corning and sophomore Alicia Barnett gave the second-ranked team in the nation all it could handle, but the Northwestern duo saw its season come to an end Friday afternoon, falling in three sets in the round of 16 at the NCAA Doubles Championship.
The 29th-ranked Wildcats took the opening set but couldn't hold off the host team of Lauren Henning and Maho Kowase of Georgia, falling 7-5, 2-6, 3-6 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Each team held serve throughout the majority of the opening set. On serve with Northwestern leading 5-4, the Wildcats had a break point for the set but were unable to capitalize as Kowase and Herring eventually held to make it 5-5.
The 'Cats held serve once again to go up 6-5 before the NU duo converted on their second break point of the game against the Bulldogs to take the first set and the early advantage.
However, the Georgia duo responded to open the second set. After doing so well to hold serve throughout the initial set, the Wildcats were broken in consecutive games to start the second as the Bulldogs surged out to a 3-0 lead.
Northwestern got one of the breaks right back and then held to get within 2-3. Georgia managed to hold and then got the break back to go up 5-2 en route to the 6-2 victory, setting up the decisive third set.
Unfortunately for the 'Cats, set No. 3 started off similar to No. 2 as Kowase and Herring broke NU's serve right out of the gates.
Barnett and Corning found it difficult to break the momentum of the Bulldogs' duo. Regardless, the 'Cats were down just 3-4 heading down the stretch against Kowase's serve when the hosts were able to hold to get within one game of the match. Needing to hold to keep the match going, Northwestern fought off two match points before Georgia converted on its third opportunity to move on to the quarterfinal round.
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