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Northwestern womens tennis falls 5-2 to Vanderbilt in opening match




In the first of several 2022 road trips, Northwestern fell in its season opener to Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn.

The Commodores got on the board early, earning the needed two of three victories in doubles to secure the doubles point over the Wildcats (0-1, 0-0 Big Ten). NOW’s No. 1 pairing of juniors Christina Hand and Briana Crowley fell 6-1 and No. 3 duo Clarissa Hand and Maria Shusharina lost 6-2 to the Commodores. First-year Sydney Pratt and senior Hannah McColgan won their game 6-4.

Graduate student Ema Lazic secured the Cats’ first point of the day in a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the Commodores’ No. 5 Amy Stevens. Pratt was able to tie the match up at 2-2 following her 6-2, 7-5 win against No. 96 Marcella Cruz. But Vanderbilt took command of the final three singles matches, grabbing a 5-2 win over the Cats.

“I went out and I competed really well,” Lazic said. “All the girls have been looking to go on the court, compete, have fun and just give it their all. I’m really happy I managed to do that.”

On the singles card, NU had three new players in the top six. Lazic was No. 5 with Pratt at No. 4 on the lineup, while first-year Justine Leong, who lost a three set battle to No. 112 Anessa Lee, was second.

Lazic, who is in her fifth year of collegiate tennis after spending four seasons at Duke, said she was looking forward to the opportunity to officially compete for the Cats.

“I was just really having fun with my teammates and ready to play my first match as a Wildcat,” Lazic said.

NU will continue its road tour of the Southeast with a trip to Raleigh, NC for ITA Indoor Qualifiers. The Cats will face Wake Forest on Saturday and then either No. 8 North Carolina State or Iowa State on Sunday.

Despite the loss, Lazic said the whole squad is ready to get back to work and iron out any troubles before the weekend slate.

“I think we’re all eager to get back on the practice court,” Lazic said. “We want to work on some areas where we can fine tune some stuff, but I think everyone’s putting in a lot of good work. It’s just gonna be a really exciting time and we’re gonna bring it this weekend.”

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @CervantesPAlex

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