Feb. 16, 2013
#10 Northwestern (4-3) vs. No. 19 Notre Dame (5-2)
Feb. 17, 2013 2 p.m.
Combe Tennis Center
EVANSTON, Ill. -
A pair of top-20 teams square off at Combe Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon as the No. 10 Northwestern women's tennis team takes on No. 10 Notre Dame at 2 p.m.
NU enters the matchup on the heels of a successful trip to the ITA Team Indoor Championships.
The Wildcats earned a spot in the ITA Championships main draw with wins over No. 38 Arkansas and No. 26 Purdue in Evanston, heading down to Charlottesville, Va., last weekend to compete in the tournament.
Northwestern started off by upsetting No. 9 Alabama convincingly, 4-1, advancing to the quarterfinals. The `Cats dropped a 4-1 decision to No. 3 Duke, but were able to redeem themselves in the consolation bracket. Taking on No. 10 Miami (Fla.), Northwestern notched another upset win, 4-2. Belinda Niu was undefeated in singles play throughout the weekend, including straight-set victories over No. 59 Maya Jansen of Alabama and No. 51 Kelsey Laurente of Miami.
As a result of her play, Niu entered into the ITA singles rankings at No. 83, while Kate Turvy jumped up to No. 41. The doubles tandem of Nida Hamilton and Linda Abu Mushrefova took a big leap up to No. 15 in the nation. As a team, the Wildcats moved up four spots after their impressive victories, settling at No. 10 in the polls.
Notre Dame (5-2) enters the contest at No. 19 in the ITA team rankings. The Fighting Irish dropped a tight 4-3 to No. 24 Purdue on Friday. Britney Sanders is Notre Dame's highest ranked singles player at No. 74, while Sanders and Julie Sabacinski form the No. 30 doubles team in the nation. Molly O'Koniewski and Jennifer Kellner are also ranked in doubles, slotting in at No. 59.
The Fighting Irish roster has five upperclassmen--one senior and four juniors--accompanied by two sophomores and three freshman. Head Coach Jay Louderback is in his 24th year at the helm, leading the Irish to top-30 national rankings in each of the last 20 seasons.
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