Battle of Wildcats Goes to Northwestern, 6-1
MADISON, Wis. - Kentucky’s Joelle Schwenk claimed a straight-set victory at No. 3 singles, but that proved to be the only victory the Cats registered in a 6-1 loss to eighth-ranked Northwestern Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Madison, Wis. The loss bumps the Cats into the consolation bracket where they will meet Harvard Friday at 9 a.m. CST.
Northwestern’s Cristelle Grier and Jessica Rush, the ITA’s top-ranked doubles pair, proved their worth early on, defeating Kentucky’s Sarah Foster and Aibika Kalsarieva by an 8-1 count. UK responded at No. 3, as freshmen Kim Coventry and Joelle Schwenk posted an 8-5 win over Connie Chiang and Andrea Yung. Jamie Peisel and Alexis Prousis nailed down the Northwestern doubles point at No. 2 with an 8-4 win over UK freshmen Lara Maurer and Christine Simpson.
Schwenk knotted the match at one with an impressive 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 3 over NU’s Peisel. However, that proved to be the only Kentucky win of the day. The fourth-ranked Grier defeated the 23rd-ranked Kalsarieva, 6-0, 6-4 to give Northwestern a lead they never relinquished. NU’s Yung posted a key first-set tiebreaker win over UK’s Simpson at No. 5 and went on to take the second set for a 3-1 NU lead. UK’s Maurer held a 5-3 first set lead at No. 4, but NU’s Prousis rebounded to take the next four games and the second set to clinch the match. UK’s Foster made things difficult for NU’s 36th-ranked Rush before succumbing in two lengthy sets. Finally, Northwestern’s Ruth Barnes scored a straight-set victory over Kentucky’s Coventry at No. 6 for the final 6-1 margin.
Scoring updates for Friday’s Harvard-Kentucky match will be available at www.ukathletics.com.
No. 8 Northwestern 6, No. 13 Kentucky 1
Doubles 1. Grier/Rush (NU) def. Foster/Kalsarieva (UK) – 8-1 2. Peisel/Prousis (NU) def. Maurer/Simpson (UK) – 8-1 3. Schwenk/Coventry (UK) def. Chiang/Yung (NU) – 8-5