March 19, 2012
No. 13 Northwestern (6-6, 1-0 Big Ten) vs. No. 49 DePaul (10-4, 1-0 BIG EAST)
Wednesday, March 21
College of Charleston Tennis Center
Charleston, S.C. 10 a.m. CT
EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 13 Northwestern is set to face cross-town foe DePaul on Wednesday, but the two will serve it up in sunny South Carolina instead. The Wildcats, on their annual spring break training trip, kick off the last half of the dual season by facing the 49th-ranked Blue Demons at 10 a.m. on the campus of College of Charleston.
Battling the Best
Of Northwestern's 12 matches thus far in 2012, nine have come against teams listed in the top-25 of the Campbell/ITA team rankings. The Wildcats hosted No. 15 Vanderbilt to open the season on Jan. 19 and from Feb. 3 to March 4, they played eight-straight contests against teams ranked 17th or higher -- four of which resided in the top-10. Every opponent the Wildcats have faced, including their upcoming match with No. 49 DePaul this Wednesday, has been ranked in the top-60 at one point this year.
Two of NU's five wins thus far have come not only on the road, but also against top-10 opponents. The 'Cats knocked off then-No. 8 North Carolina, 4-3, in Chapel Hill on Feb. 3. One week later in the opening round of the ITA National Indoor Team Championships in Charlottesville, Va., Northwestern took down then-No. 9 Virginia, 4-2. NU earned another road win against a ranked opponent with a 5-2 victory over intrastate rival No. 45 Illinois on March 10.
For the first time in career, junior Kate Turvy has occupied the No. 1 slot in the singles lineup. The Ohio native is tied for the team lead with seven singles win this season, five of which have come versus opponents in the top-50 of the Campbell/ITA singles rankings. Turvy, who was ranked 16th in the latest edition, defeated Illinois' Marisa Lambropoulos in the 'Cats' road win.
Turvy and Niu have been inserted into the doubles lineup together seven times this season by head coach Claire Pollard
and each time the duo has earned a victory for Northwestern. When paired with anyone else on the roster, Turvy and Niu are winless in nine combined matches.
The Wildcats currently sit ranked 13th in latest ITA poll (March 13). NU moved up one spot after a slide in the rankings following tough losses two weekends ago against then-No. 9 Texas and then-No. 12 Baylor in the Lone Star State. Northwestern, which has been ranked in the top-15 all season and, was ranked 12th to open the 2012 campaign.
Individually, Turvy and Brittany Wowchuk are ranked as the No. 16 and No. 61 players in the nation, respectively. The two 'Cats have both been ranked in every poll this season, for nine consecutive weeks. On Feb. 16, Turvy reached her highest point in the polls, topping out at No. 11, and Wowchuk reached her highest ranking at No. 45. NU's fearsome doubles tandem of Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton, who have played together in all but four matches, continue to sit among the top-15 in the country, most recently earning the No. 14 spot.
Veronica Corning transferred to Northwestern to begin the winter quarter and joined the squad immediately. The Massachusetts native spent her first year at Boston College, where she helped the Golden Eagles achieve their highest-ever ITA ranking (No. 33) and their best-ever finish in the ACC. The sophomore has four singles wins and two doubles victories for the Wildcats this season.
Scouting the Blue Demons
No. 49 DePaul enters this week with 10 wins, seven of which have come away from Chicago. The Blue Demons haven't seen the court in nearly three weeks, having lost to Iowa, 5-2, in Iowa City their last time out. This season, NU and DePaul will share six opponents in common (Vanderbilt, Iowa, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Indiana); thus far the Blue Demons are 1-4 and the Wildcats are 1-0 in those contests.
A pleasant surprise for DePaul has been the play of their freshman on a squad of only two seniors. Jasmin Kling, ranked 120th in the nation, leads the Blue Demons on the court and boasts a 9-4 record (8-3 at No. 1), and classmate Patricia Fargas has compiled a 12-2 record, with most of her time spent on the No. 2 line.
Northwestern has never lost to DePaul, holding an 8-0 series lead. The last time the two Chicagoland schools came together was in 2007 when the Wildcats cruised to a 6-1 win.
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