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Women’s Tennis: Northwestern stays hot amidst Big Ten play

The ‘Cats extended their winning streak to seven.

Northwestern Athletics

Since losing to No. 2 Texas in the ITA Indoor National Championship on February 5, Northwestern women’s tennis hasn’t lost. The Wildcats, ranked No. 7 in the country for the second week in a row, easily swept their three-match home slate this week against Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Those strong performances put Northwestern at 9-1 on the season and 6-0 in Big Ten play.

The Wildcats dominated in their first home contest of the season. After losing the doubles point to start the match, all six singles players won their matches, some in a more convincing fashion than others.

Junior Clarissa Hand and first-year Maria Shusharina, playing in the second and third spots, respectively, cruised in straight sets while graduate student Julie Byrne, sophomore Briana Crowley and junior Hannah McColgan each came back from a set down to grind out wins.

Northwestern had a more straightforward path to victory in its next tilt against Minnesota. NU opened by winning the doubles point in convincing fashion, with Clarissa Hand and Shusharina winning 6-1 while Christina Hand and Crowley easily won 6-2. NU won the first three singles matches to clinch the match.

The Wildcats’ third match of the week, against Wisconsin on February 28, was another straightforward win. Led by the same doubles duos, Northwestern easily swept for the first point while singles enjoyed another successful day, winning five of its six contests. Only Byrne, playing No. 2 singles, failed to record a victory.

Despite a successful week, Northwestern remains at No. 7 in the ITA rankings. It’s unlikely the ‘Cats will move up since the six teams ranked ahead of them all turned in strong weeks.

Northwestern goes back on the road this Saturday to take on Michigan State and then Michigan on Sunday.