The women’s tennis team stumbled in an early matchup with No. 7 Northwestern this past weekend, falling to the Wildcats 6-1.
Tech’s strong doubles team was able to give the Jackets a good start in the match. Noelle Hickey and Christy Striplin began their doubles game against Nazlie Ghazal and Maria Mosolova 4-0, but went on to lose the matchup 8-6. Tech rebounded in their seconds doubles match to even the doubles score, when its No. 2 team of Whitney McCray and Amanda McDowell beat Georgia Rose and Suzie Matzenauer 8-3.
Still, the Jackets were unable to hold off the Wildcats and capture the first point of the match between the two teams when Kristi Miller and Kirsten Flower lost to Lauren Lui and Samantha Murray 8-5. After Tech had dominated its last two ranked opponents, sweeping them, the team lost its first doubles point.
The singles did not go any better for the Jackets as they ended up dropping five of six in singles. Miller took the first match from No. 2 Mosolova 6-2, 6-3. The rest of the team did not fare so well. McDowell took the first set against Rose 6-0, but Rose took the next two sets, easily winning the match, 0-6, 6-2, 6-1. The next match was just as tough as McCray lost to Murray 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.
Maya Johansson lost from the fourth spot to Rose, 7-6 (8), 6-2. Rose’s win clinched the match for the Wildcats. Still, Northwestern was able to win the next two meaningless points in straight sets. Ghazal defeated Striplin 6-4, 6-3. Finally, Hickey lost to Matzenauer 6-3, 6-2.
The top-ranked Tech squad next travels to Madison, Wisc. to compete in the ITA National Indoors championship. They are attempting to repeat as national champions in the event. Despite being the top-ranked team in the nation and capturing the title last year, they are ranked just No. 4 in the tournament, behind Stanford, UCLA and Northwestern.
This early season test has historically been a great indicator of a team’s success in the past few years, with the champion going on to win the NCAA championship. Stanford did it in 2004, 2005 and 2006, while Tech accomplished the feat last year.
Tech will compete against Wisconsin in the first round match. With the current seeding, they would meet Stanford in the semifinals again if both teams are able to advance that far.