No. 45 Holly Cao was leading the No. 1 match before it was abandoned after Northwestern secured victory (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
EVANSTON, Ill. - The No. 44 Harvard women's tennis team was dealt its first loss Saturday, as No. 20 Northwestern beat the Crimson, 5-0. Two singles matches (No. 1 and No. 5) were abandoned after Northwestern had secured enough points to ensure victory.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead on the Crimson after sweeping the three doubles matches. Northwestern's Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton took the No. 1 doubles match from Holly Cao and Samantha Rosekrans, 8-5. In the No. 2 doubles match, Harvard's Natalie Blosser and Hideko Tachibana made a late charge but fell, 8-4, to Elena Chernyakova and Brittany Wowchuk.
The No. 3 doubles match was a back-and-forth affair early, but two late breaks by Maria Mosolova and Belinda Niu ensured another Wildcats victory, defeating Harvard's Hannah Morrill and Kristin Norton, 8-5.
Northwestern carried its winning momentum into the singles matches. No. 76 Niu advanced the Wildcats lead to 2-0 when she downed Norton, 6-1, 6-0. The No. 6 match was played next and it was more of the same for the Wildcats. The Crimson's Samantha Gridley played a tough first set, but fell 6-4 and was unable to swing the momentum in her favor, losing the second set 6-2.
No. 120 Kate Turvy sealed the match for the Wildcats in the No. 4 spot. After losing the first set to Turvy, Samantha Rosekrans jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second set. Turvy was able to regain control of the match though, taking the next five points in succession.
The No. 2 match was completed giving Northwestern its fifth point while the No. 1 and No. 5 matches were abandoned upon completion of the Turvy and Rosekrans match.
The No. 1 match pitted No. 45 Holly Cao against No. 52 Mosolova. Mosolova had defeated Cao in their only prior meeting at the 2010 NCAA Singles Championships, but Cao played a stellar match to win the first set 7-5 and was ahead 4-2 in the second prior to the match being abandoned.
The Crimson will face the loser of the No. 34 Nebraska and No. 38 Boise State match at 10 a.m. Sunday.
No. 20 Northwestern 5, No. 44 Harvard 0
1: #52 Maria Mosolova (NU) vs. #45 Holly Cao (HVD), 5-7, 2-4, unf.
2: #66 Brittany Wowchuk (NU) def. Hideko Tachibana (HVD), 6-4, 6-2
3: #76 Belinda Niu (NU) def. Kristin Norton (HVD), 6-1, 6-0
4: #120 Kate Turvy (NU) def. Samantha Rosekrans (HVD), 6-3, 6-4
5: Nida Hamilton (NU) vs. Natalie Blosser (HVD), 7-6 (2), 4-5, unf.
6: Stacey Lee (NU) def. Samantha Gridley (HVD), 6-3, 6-2
1: #30 Abu Mushrefova/Hamilton (NU) def. Cao/Rosekrans (HVD), 8-5
2: Chernyakova/Wowchuk (NU) def. Blosser/Tachibana (HVD), 8-4
3: Mosolova/Niu (NU) def. Morrill/Norton (HVD), 8-5
Order of Finish:
Singles (3, 6, 4*, 2)
Doubles (3, 1*, 2)