Northwestern women’s tennis recently wrapped up the last of its fall tournament season, capping off its run of five tournaments since September. The stretch started in South Bend, Indiana with the Notre Dame Invitational, followed by the ITA All-American Championships in Cary, North Carolina.
Most recently, the Wildcats came off of a doubles semifinal run by Christina Hand and Justine Leong in the ITA Midwest Regional Championships. The two sat at No. 26 in the ITA National Preseason Rankings in the doubles category. After beating DePaul to move to the semis, the team narrowly fell to Michigan’s No. 4 doubles pairing of Kari Miller and Jaden Brown. The tough tandem provided a good fight, but ultimately the Wolverines took off with the win.
Just three weeks after the ITA Midwest Regional Championships, the ‘Cats were off and running to the ITA National Fall Championships in San Diego. The squad was led again by Hand and Leong, looking to recreate their success from East Lansing.
The pair jumped out of the gate by winning two sets in a row against Denver to move into the Round of 16. Then, in a two-set stunner once again against Michigan’s Miller and Brown, they had a decisive victory that sent them to the quarterfinal round; finally, the two Wildcats had the breakthrough against the two Wolverines that they had been looking for. But, Leong and Hand ran out of steam and fell to Oklahoma State’s Auge Oby Kajuru and Anastasiya Komar in two sets.
Additionally, Northwestern’s Kiley Rabjohns, Sydney Pratt, Maria Shusharina, Britany Lau, Autumn Rabjohns, Jennifer Riester and Elisa Van Meeteren all competed this weekend in the Miami Fall Invitational in Coral Gables. The tournament saw two victories from Lau in singles against Georgia Tech and other singles victories from Riester and Autumn Rabjohns. The doubles pairings of Lau and Kiley Rabjohns racked up a victory against the Yellow Jackets on day two of the tournament, following the win of Van Meeteren/Kiley Rabjohns the day before.
This fall, the Wildcats have been able to realize a good amount of success. The doubles power team of Hand and Leong has continued its streak of wins against ranked opponents from last season, having prevailed against No. 21 Vanderbilt (Jan. 22) and No. 17 Kansas (March 3). It’s clear they have what it takes to battle it out against skillful opponents.
Although the ‘Cats are done for now, they’ll be looking to come back strong when they compete against the FAU Owls on Jan. 15 from Boca Raton, Florida.