Oct. 21, 2011
ITA Midwest Regional Championship Tournament Central
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Doubles play began Friday at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships in Columbus, Ohio and the Northwestern Wildcats posted three wins in the first two rounds. Sophomore Natalie Edell also won her second straight qualifying singles match to advance to the main draw, which begins on Saturday.
On Thursday, Edell (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake) defeated Cleveland State's Alex Power, 6-1, 6-2 and early Friday morning, the Californian knocked off Big Ten foe Julia Jamieson of Illinois in a three-set thriller, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 to secure a spot in the main draw. Edell will face another instate foe, Illinois' Allison Falkin, on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
Back to the doubles action, Edell paired up with teammate Kate Turvy (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) in the round of 48. There, the duo knocked of Youngstown State's Margarita Sadovnikova and Marta Burak with relative ease, 8-2, to advance to the round of 32, joining six of their teammates.
The top seed in the doubles draw belongs to Northwestern's Linda Abu Mushrefova (Bradenton, Fla./Pendleton) and Nida Hamilton (Oak Brook, Ill./Hinsdale Central). The pair, ranked third in the Campbell's ITA College Tennis preseason rankings, took on Illinois' team of Chelcie Abajain and Breanne Smutko (ranked 37th). The Wildcats were victorious again over their downstate rivals, 9-6 (6), in an action-packed showcase.
The tournament's fourth seed belongs to another pair of 'Cats, Elena Chernyakova (Moscow, Russia/No. 150) and Anna Livadaru (Berlin, Germany/Boca Prep). The internationally-born pair played Toledo's Kelsey Anonsen and Lexy Pitt. Chernyakova and Livadaru led early in the match, but their counterparts from Ohio staged a comeback to overtake the advantage and eventually win, 8-6.
Edell and Turvy were the next pair to finish in their match against yet another team from the University of Illinois, Falkin and Marisa Lambropoulos. Like teammates Livadaru and Cheryakova, Edell and Turvy led at one point in the match, but the Illini rallied back to claim an 8-5 win..
The final Northwestern pair of the day to compete was Brittany Wowchuk (Toronto, Ontario/Oakville Trafalgar) and Belinda Niu (Portland, Ore./Lincoln). Wowchuk and Niu squared off against Western Michigan's Maria Nivia and April Kerr. Wowchuk and Niu advanced with a lopsided 8-1 victory.
Doubles play continues on Saturday with the first matches in the round of 16 set to begin at approximately 8 a.m. CT. The main singles draw will begin later in the morning around approximately 10 a.m. Mushrefova, Hamilton and Stacey Lee (Old Westbury, N.Y./Westbury) will begin play at 10 a.m. Livadaru will play on the fourth available court following the opening matches, Edell will play at 11:30 a.m. Wowchuk, Niu and Turvy all have byes into the round of 32 and will begin at 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.
For complete draws, please visit the Tournament Central page. Live stats will also be available throughout the remainder of the event. Both of those links are accessible near the top of the page.
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