Jan. 30, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Ready for their first official dual match of 2009, the top-ranked Wildcats have their eyes on the ITA Women’s National Indoor Team Championship, which will be contested at the University of Wisconsin Feb. 13-16. This weekend, NU looks to take the first step toward reaching the round of 16 when it faces No. 49 New Mexico at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Combe Tennis Center.
Fans who are unable to make it to the matches can follow live online stats by clicking here.
Should Northwestern defeat the Lobos, it will square off against the winner of Saturday’s match between No. 34 Tulsa and No. 44 Washington State at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Last year, the Wildcats became the first Big Ten team in the tournament’s history to reach the finals before being tripped up by Georgia Tech in the championship match, 4-2. The loss came just one week after Northwestern ousted the Yellow Jackets from their top spot in the national rankings with a 6-1 victory.
WILD WILDCAT WEEKEND
On its opening weekend of spring competition, Northwestern looked to be in mid-season form on two fronts. Two Wildcats—No. 1 Maria Mosolova (Moscow, Russia/No. 204) and Lauren Lui (Houston, Texas/Kinkaid)—traveled to Palm Springs, Calif., for the National Collegiate Tennis Classic and, after three days of competition, it was Mosolova who came away with the NCTC singles crown. She overcame Stanford’s Hilary Barte—the 2008 ITA National Rookie of the Year—in the finals in three sets (6-2, 6-7 (8), 7-5) and earned Big Ten Player of the Week for her efforts.
Back in Evanston, No. 1 Northwestern concluded its season-opening weekend of competition at the Wildcat Invitational Sunday. The ’Cats recorded a 12-3 combined doubles record and a 14-4 singles mark in the four-team event. Three Wildcats—seniors Nazlie Ghazal (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral) and Keri Robison (Decatur, Ill./Keystone National) and freshman Stacey Lee (Old Westbury, N.Y./Wheatley)—completed the weekend unbeaten in singles with 3-0 records.
SCOUTING THE LOBOS
No. 49 New Mexico is 1-1 this year and coming off a 4-3 defeat of No. 43 South Florida in New Mexico last weekend, as the Lobos scored wins at the top-3 singles positions. They secured what proved to be the crucial doubles point with wins at the top two positions by the tandems of Ola Abou-Zekry and Maria Sotirchos (No. 1) and Mackenzie White and Emma Hayman (No. 2). Last season, the Wildcats faced New Mexico in Albuquerque and returned with a 7-0 win under their belts, winning all three doubles matches while surrendering just one set in singles play.
-Mosolova’s victory at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic was her third tournament title since the start of this her sophomore campaign. She also was victorious at the season-opening Furman Invitational and the Duals in the Desert while reaching the semifinals of the ITA All-American Championships and the ITA National Indoor Singles Championships.
-Senior Nazlie Ghazal (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral) leads all active NU players in career wins (113) and dual match wins (63) while classmate Georgia Rose (Mettawa, Ill./North Shore Country Day) is a close second with 107 wins, 60 in dual competitions.