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    Wildcats Begin Challenging Dual Stretch Against Longhorns

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Northwestern goes for its third dual match win against No. 28 Texas Sunday in Evanston.
    Northwestern goes for its third dual match win against No. 28 Texas Sunday in Evanston.

    Feb. 6, 2009

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 1 Northwestern kicks off a series of matches against the nation’s elite teams this weekend with a dual match against No. 28 Texas at noon on Sunday in Evanston. Following Sunday’s match, Northwestern will prepare to compete at the Indoor Team Championship in Wisconsin before three more regular season contests against programs ranked in the ITA top-20.

    Live online scoring for the match is available by clicking here.

    To help fans prepare for Valentine’s Day next week, Sunday’s match vs. Texas has been dubbed the “Love Match.” There will be a number of Valentine’s Day-related activities while one lucky couple will win a romantic getaway for two courtesy of the Hotel Orrington in Evanston. Fans will also be treated to free breakfast from Le Peep before and during the match.

    No. 28 Texas (1-2) fell 12 spots in the most recent ITA team poll following its 5-2 defeat at the hands of No. 19 Michigan last weekend. The Wolverines eked out the doubles point in a 7-5 tiebreaker at the No. 1 position against UT’s Marija Milic and Vanja Corovic. The Longhorns also dropped a tight contest the day before to 24th-ranked William & Mary, 4-3. Corovic is the highest-ranked singles player for Texas at No. 60 while freshman Krista Damico checks in at No. 116.

    Last season, Northwestern traveled to Austin where the Wildcats won their eighth consecutive match, a 5-2 decision against then-No. 17 Texas. Georgia Rose (Mettawa, Ill./North Shore Country Day), Lauren Lui (Houston, Texas/Kinkaid), Samantha Murray (Altrincham, England/Altrincham Grammar) and Nazlie Ghazal (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral) all posted singles wins while Maria Mosolova (Moscow, Russia/No. 204) suffered a rare defeat, falling 6-7, 6-3, 1-0 (1) to Corovic at the No. 1 position. It was just Mosolova’s fourth loss in 28 matches to that point and one of only six she would drop all season.



    NU is coming off a successful opening weekend of dual competition in the qualifying round of the Indoor Team Championship, knocking off then-No. 46 New Mexico and No. 34 Tulsa without losing a singles or doubles match. On Saturday, after securing a 1-0 lead heading into singles, NU received a strong performance at the No. 1 singles spot by Rose, who was the first singles match off the court following a speedy 6-1, 6-0 win against UNM’s Mackenzie White. Murray, ranked No. 24 nationally in singles play, claimed a 6-2, 6-2 victory against the Lobos’ Ola Abou-Zekry while Ghazal did not surrender a game in her two-set win over Manumea Durie at No. 4 singles.

    On Sunday, NU secured a 1-0 lead after doubles play by winning all three matches, completing the doubles sweep with an 8-4 victory by Lui and Mosolova against Alexandra Kichoutkin and Marta Marcinkowska. Lui and Mosolova are now 4-1 as a doubles pair this year.

    The Wildcats’ dual match wins against New Mexico and Tulsa secured them a spot in the Indoor Team Championship to be held Feb. 13-16 at the University of Wisconsin. Of the 15 regional hosts, the host team managed to emerge from its four-team field in all but three locations.

    -Rose and picked up two No. 2 doubles wins with freshman Elena Chernyakova (Moscow, Russia/No. 150) last weekend, marking their first matches as a tandem this season. Chernyakova is now second on the team in doubles wins this season with 14, trailing only Keri Robison (Decatur, Ill./Keystone National), who has 17 doubles victories.
    -Robison also boasts the longest active singles winning streak on the team, having won eight straight matches dating to Oct. 31 at the Desert in the Duals tournament. At 11-5 overall, she is on pace to eclipse her season high for singles wins, which came in 2006-07 when she notched a 20-9 record.