Feb. 12, 2009
2009 ITA Indoor Team Championship Draws
EVANSTON, Ill. -- With three dual match wins under its belt to start the season, No. 1 Northwestern is ready to vie for the ITA Indoor Team Championship against a field consisting of the nation’s top tennis programs in Madison, Wis. As the event’s top seed for the first time in school history, NU gets underway at 9 a.m. Friday against unseeded Miami (Fla.).
Should Northwestern advance past the Hurricanes, it’ll face the winner of a first-round contest between eighth-seeded Duke and host Wisconsin at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
In the 2008 Indoor Team Championship, third-seeded NU overwhelmed its competition through the first three rounds with wins against No. 12 Fresno State (4-1), No. 7 California (4-0) and No. 12 North Carolina (4-0). In doing so, the Wildcats became the first Big Ten school in the history of the event to reach the finals.
In the championship match, Northwestern squared off against fourth-ranked Georgia Tech, a team the ’Cats had beaten handily, 6-1, just a week earlier in a dual match on the Yellow Jackets’ home courts. Then-No. 9 Georgia Rose (Mettawa, Ill./North Shore Country Day) posted a win at the top singles position against No. 7 Kristi Miller and also contributed to a win at No. 2 doubles but it was not enough as Georgia Tech notched the 4-2 win, handing NU its first loss of the year. It proved to be Northwestern’s only loss of the regular season, as the Wildcats did not drop another dual match until facing Cal in the NCAA Championships on May 17.
SCOUTING THE HURRICANES
Miami, ranked 15th in the most recent ITA national poll, enters the tournament with a perfect 6-0 dual record thanks in part to qualifying wins against Utah and Tennessee to earn a spot in the 16-team draw. The Hurricanes boast four nationally ranked players--sophomores Julia Cohen (No. 8), Bianca Eichkorn (No. 20), Michaela Kissell (No. 50) and junior two-time All-American Laura Vallverdu (No. 114). During the 2008 fall schedule, NU's Maria Mosolova (Moscow, Russia/No. 204) defeated Eichkorn in two sets at the All-American Championships in October while Samantha Murray (Altrincham, England/Altrincham Grammar) knocked off Vallverdu at the Indoor Singles Championship and Miami's Gabriela Mejia in the Duals at the Desert.
Miami also features the ranked doubles pair of Kissell and Eichkorn, currently No. 14.
NU is 5-3 all-time and has won the last three contests against Miami thanks to a slim 4-3 victory against the Hurricanes the last time the two teams met on Feb. 2, 2007. Looking ahead to the second round, Northwestern is 4-9 all-time vs. the Blue Devils and 41-15 when facing conference foe Wisconsin.LAST TIME OUT
No. 1 Northwestern overcame 28th-ranked Texas with a convincing 6-1 win at Combe Tennis Center in Evanston Sunday afternoon, improving to 3-0 in dual contests in 2009. Against the Longhorns, NU captured two matches in doubles play, where Murray and freshman Elena Chernyakova (Moscow, Russia/No. 150)
needed just 30 minutes to claim an 8-1 win against UT’s Amanda Craddock and Sarah Lancaster at No. 3. Over on court four, the tandem of Mosolova and Keri Robison (Decatur, Ill./Keystone National)
were also in control of their match from the start, jumping out to a 3-0 lead against UT’s Krista Damico and Caroline Larsson.
At No. 1 singles, Mosolova defended her No. 1 overall singles ranking with a 6-2, 6-4 win against No. 60 Vanja Corovic, who dealt Mosolova one of her six losses as a freshman in 2007-08. Four other Wildcats—Murray, Rose, Lauren Lui (Houston, Texas/Kinkaid)
and Nazlie Ghazal (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral)
—notched singles victories. WILDCAT NOTES
-Any way you slice it, Northwestern has been one of the nation’s most successful programs in recent years. Head coach Claire Pollard’s
squad has won 26 of its 27 dual matches since the loss to Georgia Tech in the Indoor Team finals last year, including its 3-0 start to the 2009 spring campaign. Dating to March 31, 2007, NU has posted a 46-3 overall dual record, including its 20-0 mark in conference play.
-In three dual matches this spring, Northwestern has been victorious in 34 out of a possible 36 singles sets.
Complete draws for the ITA Indoor Team Championship are available in PDF format at the top of the page.
No. 1 Northwestern vs. Miami (Fla.)
No. 8 Duke vs. Wisconsin
No. 4 Baylor vs. North Carolina
No. 5 Stanford vs. Notre Dame
No. 6 Georgia vs. Southern California
No. 3 UCLA vs. Florida
No. 7 Georgia Tech vs. Fresno State
No. 2 California vs. Clemson