March 1, 2013
#8 Northwestern (6-4) vs. #33 Illinois (6-4)
March 2, 2013 11 a.m.
Combe Tennis Center
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After inching all the way up to No. 8 in the ITA team rankings through 10 dual matches against top-40 opponents, Northwestern kicks off its Big Ten campaign Saturday welcoming No. 33 Illinois to the Combe Tennis Center. Both teams bring identical 6-4 records into the dual match.
Action is set to begin at 11 a.m. for the Campus Kids Day match. All campers and junior players from the USTA are invited to come cheer on the `Cats, enjoy some free pizza, and serve their way to free prizes.
The doubles duo of Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton continue their impressive climb up the rankings, jumping up seven more spots to settle at No. 8. Kate Turvy and Belinda Niu are ranked in singles for the Wildcats, coming in at No. 55 and No. 96, respectively.
Northwestern is fresh off a dominating 4-1 win over No. 19 Baylor last Sunday. The `Cats stormed out to a quick doubles victory, and dropped only three sets total in singles play. Alicia Barnett, Brittany Wowchuk and Belinda Niu all posted convincing straight set wins to clinch the dual for the Wildcats.
Illinois boasts a top-ranked doubles unit as well, with Melissa Kopinski and Rachael White ranked at No. 23 nationally. Kopinski is the Fighting Illini's only ranked singles player at No. 120. The team has responded to a three-match losing skid by posting four victories in a row, most recently a 5-2 triumph over No. 36 Oklahoma.
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