May 26, 2010
NCAA Singles Championships First Round
Site: Athens, Ga. (Dan Magill Tennis Center)
Next NU Event: NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships - Thu., May 27
Samantha Murray (NU) vs. Irina Falconi (GT), 10:30 a.m. CT
Maria Mosolova (NU) vs. Katrina Tsang (NC), 12:30 p.m. CT
Chernyakova/Lui (NU) vs. Duncan/Tuohima (TCU), 1 p.m. CT
Live Stats/Streaming Video
ATHENS, Ga. -- Northwestern's first day of play at the NCAA Singles Championships in Athens, Ga., was a resounding success as both Wildcats -- junior Maria Mosolova and senior Samantha Murray -- won three-set matches to advance to the tournament's second round. For Murray, her upset of Cal's 18th-ranked Marina Cossou represented her first-career win at the event.
"I thought it was obviously a good first day of the tournament for us, I'm certainly very happy for Sam to pull out that win," said NU head coach Claire Pollard. "It comes down to 4-4 in the third and it's really make or break. She just stayed focused and I thought she wanted it a little more, that was the difference."
Playing on the main courts at the Dan Magill Tennis Center, Mosolova looked to be in control during a 6-3 first-set victory over Harvard's 73rd-ranked Holly Cao, but Cao took over in the second en route to splitting sets, 6-1.
But Mosolova was too much for the Harvard sophomore in the third, going on to win it 6-2 for her 31st singles victory of the year and the seventh of her career at the NCAA Championships.
Murray squared off with Cal's 18th-ranked Marina Cossou for the second time this season after defeating Cossou in straight sets during the ITA National Indoor Team Championship back on Feb. 14. Murray and Cossou played evenly through the first set but it was Cossou who eventually prevailed 6-4, twice coming back from down 30-0 to break the Wildcat's serve during the set.
In the second, Murray (29-11) put those thoughts behind her and jumped to a 3-0 lead to take control and went on to win the set 6-2. She carried that momentum into the third, going up 3-1 before Cossou began staging her comeback. Cossou narrowly avoided falling in a 5-2 hole and eventually evened the score at four-all. But Murray responded with a big break and served out the match in the ensuing game to wrap up her first trip to the NCAA round of 32.
Murray's win set her up for a date with the tournament's overall No. 1 seed, Irina Falconi of Georgia Tech, at 10:30 a.m. Thursday while Mosolova awaits North Carolina's Katrina Tsang at 12:30 p.m. CT. Also on Thursday will be the first round of the NCAA Doubles Championship where NU's Lauren Lui and Elena Chernyakova are set to face TCU's Kayla Duncan and Katariina Tuohimaa at 1 p.m. CT.
NCAA Singles Championships -- First Round Results
#13 Maria Mosolova (NU) def. #73 Holly Cao (HARV), 6-3, 1-6, 6-2
#41 Samantha Murray (NU) def. #18 Marina Cossou (CAL), 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
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