Women's Tennis upsets No. 5 Northwestern, 6-1
April 10, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas (10-4) swept the doubles session and registered a dominant singles performance en route to a 6-1 win over No. 5 Northwestern (14-6) Saturday afternoon at UT’s Penick-Allison Tennis Center. It marks UT’s first win over a top-five opponent since February 2006, when the Horns took down No. 3 Georgia Tech at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Texas opened the match with an impressive effort in the doubles session, as the Horns swept the three matches to assume a 1-0 lead. UT junior Amanda Craddock and sophomore Krista Damico picked up an early service break on the Wildcats’ Samantha Murray and Kate Turvy and never looked back on their way to an 8-1 win at second doubles.
Texas clinched the doubles point at the first position. UT’s 47th-ranked duo of senior Vanja Corovic and freshman Aeriel Ellis broke Northwestern’s 23rd-ranked tandem of Lauren Lui and Maria Mosolova to even their match at 3-all. Corovic and Ellis held and broke once more for a 5-3 lead, and the Texas tandem held serve the rest of the way en route to an 8-5 win to nail down the doubles point.
The Longhorns’ Sarah Lancaster and Caroline Larsson went to a tiebreaker at third doubles against the Wildcats’ Linda Abu Mushrefova and Stacey Lee, and though UT failed to convert several match points, the Horns finished off the Wildcats’ duo in the tiebreaker, 9-7.
Corovic stretched the Texas lead to 2-0 with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Northwestern’s 45th-ranked Murray at second singles. The Wildcats sliced the Texas lead to 2-1 with a win at third singles, where Lui topped UT’s Damico, 6-4, 6-3. But, the Longhorns remained in control and put the match away with wins at the fourth and first singles slots.
Lancaster had little trouble with Northwestern’s Turvy at fourth singles, where she prevailed by a 6-2, 6-2 count to push the Texas lead to 3-1. The match at first singles pitted UT’s 28th-ranked Ellis against Northwestern’s 13th-ranked Mosolova. The Northwestern All-American broke Ellis for a 5-3 lead in the first set, but Ellis broke Mosolova, held serve and broke once more to assume a 6-5 lead. Mosolova broke Ellis to force a tiebreaker, where Ellis prevailed, 7-5.
Trailing 5-4 in the second set, Ellis broke Mosolova to even the set at five and held serve to take a 6-5 lead. Mosolova served out the next game to force the decisive second-set tiebreaker. Tied at two in the tiebreaker, Ellis assumed a 5-2 lead behind a forehand winner, a one-handed backhand winner and a Mosolova forehand smacked into the net.
Ellis committed two errors that sliced her lead to 5-4, but a Mosolova forehand into the net set up match points at 6-4. Mosolova saved the first two match points but set up another for Ellis with a forehand sent beyond the baseline. Mosolova netted a forehand on the ensuing point that ended the match in Ellis’ favor and secured the match-clinching point for Texas.
At fifth singles, UT’s Larsson took the first set off of Northwestern’s Lee, 6-3, and after falling behind 5-2 in the second set, Larsson finished the match by taking the last five games to win the set, 7-5 and give Texas a 6-1 lead.
At sixth singles, UT junior Maggie Mello took the first set off of NU’s Abu Mushrefova, 6-4 before dropping the second set, 7-5. Mello went on to save three match points in the ensuing 10-point match tiebreak and prevailed by a 13-11 count to win the match and give Texas its sixth point of the afternoon.
Texas resumes Big 12 Conference play on Friday, April 16 when it hosts Nebraska.
Aeriel Ellis and Vanja Corovic have been playing well even though they’ve lost a couple of tight matches against teams ranked ahead of them. They lost a tough one last weekend in Oklahoma, so it was great to see them get the win.
On singles: We have started off well lately and have won a lot of first sets. In the last 10 days to two weeks, we’ve talked a lot about how when we get up and get an early lead that we need to slam the door shut. We can’t relax or back off. We need to stick with it and play with a sense of urgency. I felt that if we could do that more that we could go after a big team, and that’s what they did today.
The thing that makes this team special is they understand that even after we’ve clinched the match that you need to be out there supporting any other teammates still playing. They wanted to see Caroline Larsson and Maggie Mello come back to get those wins, and sure enough, they were able to finish with victories.
Texas 6, No. 5 Northwestern 1