Feb. 1, 2012
No. 12 Northwestern (3-0) at No. 8 North Carolina (5-1)
Friday, February 3
Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center
Chapel Hill, N.C. • 1:30 p.m. CST
No. 12 Northwestern (3-0) at No. 3 Duke (4-0)
Saturday, February 4
Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center
Durham, N.C. • 11:00 a.m. CST
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EVANSTON, Ill.-- Northwestern women's tennis will venture away from the familiar confines of Combe Tennis Center for the first time this season when it heads it travels east to take on a pair of top-10 Atlantic Coast Conference foes Friday and Saturday.
The 'Cats, who check in at No. 12 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll, will play No. 8 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Friday at 1:30 p.m. Less than 24 hours later, NU will head a little more than 12 miles northeast to play Duke, the nation's third-ranked team.
Northwestern hosted both teams in Evanston last season with mixed results. Despite knocking off five ranked opponents during the course of the dual, the Wildcats were narrowly upended by the then-sixth-ranked Blue Devils on Feb. 26, 2011 at Combe, 4-3. The 'Cats faced UNC twice last season. The first matchup came in Charlottesville, Va., where the Tar Heels edged NU 4-3 at the ITA National Indoor Team Championships. A week later North Carolina came to Combe and the Wildcats were able to exact revenge against the third-ranked team, 4-2.
Northwestern is 7-11 all-time against North Carolina, but since 2008 head coach Claire Pollard'steam is 5-2 versus the Tar Heels. Duke currently holds a 12-5 advantage over the 'Cats. NU's last win against the Blue Devils came on Feb. 11, 2009 in the second round at the ITA National Indoor Team Championship. The Wildcats would go on to win the first of to straight indoor team titles later that weekend.
The 'Cats are 3-0 this season with several impressive wins already on the docket. In the season opener Northwestern defeated No. 15 Vanderbilt, 5-2. Pollard's bunch followed that up with wins against Dartmouth and Nebraska last weekend in the ITA Indoor Team Championship qualifier.
The Wildcats have been paced through the early part of the season by the play of Kate Turvy (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman). The junior is tied with classmate Linda Abu Mushrefova (Bradenton, Fla./Pendleton) with three wins in singles play. Turvy, ranked 26th by the ITA, has defeated two nationally ranked opponents in Vanderbilt's Jackie Wu (No. 23) and Nebraska's Mary Weatherholt (No. 50). Along with partner Belinda Niu(Portland, Ore./Lincoln), Turvy has won all three doubles matches in which she's played as well.
North Carolina is 5-1 on the young season with its only loss coming against No. 15 Texas. Four of the Tar Heels' five wins this year have been seven-point shutouts. Like Northwestern, Duke is undefeated with four wins to its credit. The Blue Devils have already knocked off two Big Ten opponents, Indiana and Illinois. The victory over Illinois on Jan. 28 secured Duke's spot at the ITA National Indoor Team Championships.
Following this weekend's nonconference action, the Wildcats will travel to Charlottesville, Va. for the ITA National Indoor Team Championships, Feb. 10-13. Duke and North Carolina will each be part of the draw, as well.
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