Entering postseason play, few teams are as hot as the ‘Cats.
Senior Day for the No. 16 Northwestern women’s tennis team started off strong in Evanston, culminating in a convincing 6-1 win over No. 34 Indiana Sunday. The win is NU’s fourth in a row to end the regular season before next week’s Big Ten Tournament.
Wildcat freshman Alicia Barnett and junior Veronica Corning recorded the first win of the afternoon with a quick victory in No. 2 doubles, winning 8-3.
In the No. 1 doubles match, No. 18 player in the country and Northwestern senior Linda Abu Mushrefova teamed up with junior Nida Hamilton, but the two started off a little lackadaisical. Some unforced errors and missed first serves kept Indiana’s Shannon Murdy and Alecia Kauss in the match. However, once Mushrefova and Hamilton settled down, the ‘Cats were able to pull away with an 8-5 victory, putting Northwestern up 2-0 on the day.
Senior Kate Turvy wanted to make an impression in the last home match of her collegiate career. Her 6-1, 6-0 victory against Indiana’s Katie Klyczek was nothing short of dominant. Turvy looked more energetic the entire match, her approach shots setting up some great volleys at the net, allowing Turvy to win all of her break points.
After finishing up her doubles match earlier in the afternoon, freshman Alicia Bennet followed with a singles victory, winning 6-2, 6-3.
Northwestern’s Mushrefova and Belinda Niu both won in straight sets in their singles matches, putting the Wildcats up 5-0 on the day.
The most impressive performance of the afternoon came from Wildcat senior Brittany Wowchuk. After going down 2-4 in the first set to Indiana’s Jithmie Jayawickrema, Wowchuck rallied back to win the first set 7-5. The final game was a nail-biter, as almost every game reached deuce. In the second set, Wowchuck turned on the afterburners, winning by a hefty margin of 6-1.
The only Wildcat loss of the day came in the No. 1 singles match. Junior Veronica Corning lost in straight sets to Indiana’s Leslie Hureau.
Northwestern finished the regular season 15-8 overall and 9-2 in the Big Ten, which is good enough for third place in the conference.
Thursday marks the beginning of the Big Ten Tournament, where the ‘Cats could square off against Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin or Minnesota in the first round. The Wildcats have managed to beat all four teams during the regular season by a combined 25-3 margin of victory.
After missing out last year, the ‘Cats look to reclaim their Big Ten Championship title from the 2011 season.