May 25, 2006
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Northwestern's 13th-ranked doubles team of Cristelle Grier (Epsom, England/Putney) and Alexis Prousis (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) came through with a three-set victory over Arizona State's 16th-ranked team of Roxanne Clarke and Kady Pooler to advance to the round of 16 at the NCAA doubles championship.
Grier and Prousis were edged in the first set, but settled in to take the next two sets and the match.
The Sun Devils began the match on a roll, jumping out to a 5-1 lead over the 'Cats in the first set. Northwestern was jumpstarted by breaking the ASU pair in the seventh game and rallied to tie the Sun Devils at 5-5. ASU finished out the set strong, however, and just clipped the Wildcats for a 7-5 first-set win.
Northwestern had visibly gained confidence from its first-set comeback and started the second set by rattling off four-straight wins, breaking Arizona State twice. The Devils took wins in the fifth and seventh games, but the damage had already been done and Northwestern evened the match at one set apiece with a convincing 6-2 second-set victory.
With the match on the line in the third set, the 'Cats fell into an early 3-0 hole. Northwestern held serve in the fourth game, however, then took wins in the next four games to take a 5-3 lead over Arizona State.
Northwestern broke the ASU pair twice in that span and Prousis hit two picture perfect lobs that inched just inside the baseline in the seventh game to keep the NU momentum going.
With NU leading 5-3, ASU held serve in the ninth game, but with the match on their racquets in the 10th, NU took a 40-30 lead before Prousis split the Sun Devil pair with a forearm down the center of the court to seal the win for the 'Cats. The Wildcats won the match 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.
Northwestern now faces California's eighth-ranked Suzi Babos and Zsuzsanna Fodor in the round of 16 Friday.