Jan. 23, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Following a dominant performance at last weekend's Florida State Invitational, the Wildcats are ready to begin their 2007 dual season at home against DePaul. The ninth-ranked 'Cats take to the court Wednesday night at 6 p.m. against the Blue Demons at the Combe Tennis Center. Freshmen Lauren Lui (Houston, Texas/Kinkaid) and Samantha Murray (Altrincham, England/Altrincham Grammar) pace the 'Cats in singles wins with 13 each.
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Last Time Out
In their final event before the dual season, the ninth-ranked Wildcats cruised through the Florida State Invitational. Sophomore Georgia Rose (Mettawa, Ill./North Shore Country Day) finished on top of the singles standings with Lui right behind in second place. Rose sat atop the individual standings and the 'Cats went 3-0 in doubles and 12-2 in singles on Day One of the tournament. In doubles action, Rose and Suzie Matzenauer (Tacoma, Wash./Bellarmine), playing together for the first time this season, defeated Jacksonville's Sulyos and Jaresova, 8-4. The pair of Alexis Conill (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) and Big Ten Player of the Week Samantha Murray (Altrincham, England/Altrincham Grammar) downed Jacksonville's Carrero and Willi, 8-6. Keri Robison (Decatur, Ill./Keystone National) and Nazlie Ghazal (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral) topped Tatiana Soldatova and Cristina Paiva-Flor of Jacksonville, 8-3.
In the first round of singles play, Murray, Rose, Matzenauer, Lui, Ghazal, Robison, Conill and Jen Taylor (Mequon, Wis./University School of Milwaukee) all won their matches. In a second round of singles, Rose, Murray, Ghazal and Lui all won their matches in straight sets. Rose won her singles match on Day Two and led all players with 23 singles points and Lui, who also won on Day Two, finished in second with 18.
Three new faces joined the Wildcats for 2006-07 and the freshmen have impressed heading into the start of the dual season. Lui sits at 13-4 in singles, Murray is 13-2 and won last week's Big Ten Player of the Week and Matzenauer is 10-3 in her freshman campaign.
The Wildcats enjoyed success in their the fall doubles season with a 30-8 record and the team sits at 45-15 in doubles play heading into their first dual. The tandem of Rose and Alexis Prousis (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) pace NU with an 8-4 record. The pair of Ghazal and Robison and freshmen Lui and Murray are 5-1.
'Cats in the Rankings
The ITA released its national rankings on January 9 and the Wildcats, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships in 2006, opened the winter at No. 9. Lui was the only Wildcat ranked in singles at 66. Rose and Prousis did not have enough fall results to get a national ranking, but the pair are the 30th-ranked doubles team. Regionally, 'Cats are all over the Midwest rankings with No. 5 Rose, No. 6 Prousis, No. 11 Murray, No. 18 Lui, No. 19 Robison and No. 21 Ghazal. In doubles, Rose/Prousis are No. 3, Conill/Murray are No. 5 and Robison/Lui are No. 10.