Feb. 19, 2014
#8 Northwestern (5-3) vs. #37 Indiana (7-1)
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 • 3 p.m.
IU Tennis Center
EVANSTON, Ill. - After moving up to No. 8 in the ITA team rankings through eight matches against top-30 opponents, Northwestern travels to Bloomington, Ind. on Thursday to open the Big Ten slate against the 37th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers at 3 p.m. The match marks the first of three straight that the Wildcats will play against conference foes.
No. 8 Northwestern recently split a road-trip in Texas, defeating the Longhorns 5-2 before falling by the same score to Baylor.
Senior Belinda Niu continues to lead the `Cats from the No. 2 spot in singles play. Niu has racked up a 5-0 record so far in 2014 and has won nine matches in a row dating back to the fall tour season. Ranked No. 58 by the ITA, she has knocked off two ranked opponents and led two others in matches that were abandoned. Niu recently won her 85th career singles match when she defeated Ema Burgic of Baylor on Sunday.
Nida Hamilton has also played well for NU. She was recently put into the No. 6 spot in singles and has responded by winning all three matches she has played there.
In doubles play, Niu and Brooke Rischbieth have been reliable at the No. 3 position, posting a 4-1 record and winning three matches in a row. Northwestern has not lost this season when claiming the doubles point.
Indiana has played to a 7-1 record in 2014. The Hoosiers lone loss came at Notre Dame on Feb. 2. IU has not played a top-20 opponent yet this season, while Northwestern has amassed a 3-3 record against such teams. Indiana most recently beat No. 38 Kentucky by a 4-3 score.
IU boasts three nationally-ranked singles player, including Katie Klyczek, ranked No. 65. Klyczek had won 14 matches in a row before falling on Sunday to Kentucky's Nadia Ravita in straight sets. Klyczek has played all eight dual matches in the No. 1 singles spot. Sophie Garre is the No. 81-ranked player and has compiled a 7-0 mark from the No. 3 and 4 positions. Carolyn Chupa comes in at No. 93 for Indiana, and she has a 7-1 record in the No. 2 and 3 spots.
Garre teams up with Kayla Fujimoto in the No. 2 doubles spot where the duo has put together a 4-2 record. They have also won a match in the No. 3 position. Garre and Fujimoto are nationally ranked at No. 44.
The last time the Wildcats visited Bloomington, they won the 2013 Big Ten tournament, claiming their 15th-straight Big Ten title, including both tournament championships and regular season crowns. Northwestern blanked the host Hoosiers 4-0 in the quarterfinals before eventually beating Michigan in the championship match, 4-1.
Northwestern has won 18 straight matches over Indiana dating back to the 1999-2000 season, including both regular season and postseason match-ups. The `Cats have outscored the Hoosiers 103-12 during that span.
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