EVANSTON, Ill. (March 8, 2023) – After picking up a win on the road in its Big Ten Conference opener, No. 72 Northwestern women’s tennis (5-7, 1-0 B1G) returns to the Combe Tennis Center courts on Friday at 5 p.m. to entertain in-state rival No. 28 Illinois.
LAST TIME OUT
Following a 4-1 setback to No. 17 Kansas this past Friday, Northwestern jumped out to an early advantage on the road against No. 72 Indiana and never looked back, picking up a 5-2 win over the Hoosiers on Sunday in Bloomington, Ind.
The ‘Cats got off to a great start in doubles, with the pairings of Christina Hand and Briana Crowley (6-1) and Justine Leong and Sydney Pratt (6-3) each cruising to victory to give Northwestern an early 1-0 edge.
Kiley Rabjohns (6-1, 6-0) and Hand (6-0, 6-3) notched comfortable wins in straight sets to begin singles action, pushing the margin to 3-0. After seeing the hosts close the gap to 3-2, Crowley rallied back from a first-set defeat to earn a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 win, while Jennifer Riester closed the day out with her first collegiate victory, battling to a 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-1) triumph.
Sunday’s win over Indiana saw the ‘Cats extend their win streak in Big Ten Conference openers to 25 matches.
Northwestern finds itself ranked No. 72 in the NCAA Division I Women’s Team Rankings, which were released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on Tuesday.
In the individual poll, Hand, who has won two of her last three matches, came in at No. 103 and also appears in the doubles rankings, alongside Leong, at No. 41.
?? are back in the @ITA_Tennis Rankings! #GoCats pic.twitter.com/PDiIbw3quk
— NU Women’s Tennis (@NUWildcatTennis) March 7, 2023
Illinois, which will be in action for the first time since February 25 on Friday, enters the week at 8-4 overall. Currently sitting at No. 28 in the ITA Team Rankings, the Fighting Illini also hold a 1-0 mark in Big Ten Conference play following a 4-0 win over Penn State back on February 19.
Like Northwestern, Illinois is represented in both the singles and doubles national polls. Ashley Yeah, who owns a 5-4 record in dual action, resides at No. 100, while the pairing of Katherine Duong and Megan Heuser has raced out to a 7-1 start on the year en route to…
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