EVANSTON, Ill. -- A determined Northwestern squad defeated Purdue, 4-2, in a thrilling match Saturday at Combe Tennis Center to advance to the ITA Main Draw. The host Wildcats held off a resilient Boilermaker squad to move past the opening weekend kick-off round. The ITA Team Indoor Championships Main Draw will be held February 8-11 in Charlottesville, Va.
Purdue captured the first point of the afternoon by defeating Northwestern in doubles play, 2-0. At No. 1, the Wildcats' duo of Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton fell 8-3 to Mara Schmidt and Krisztina Kapitany of Purdue. The match was back and forth for the first several games, but Schmidt and Kapitany pulled away for the victory. In the No. 2 spot, Veronica Corning and Brittany Wowchuk competed for the `Cats. They trailed the Boilermaker duo of Lynda Xepoleas and Daniela Vidal 7-2 but facing match point, Corning and Wowchuk were able to bring it to 7-4 before seceding the final point. The No. 3 match was abandoned with Imogen Golder and Gisella Pere of Purdue leading Belinda Niu and Kate Turvy for the `Cats by a 5-4 score.
Singles play started just as slow for Northwestern with all six Wildcats falling behind early in the first sets. Playing at No. 1, Kate Turvy provided a spark for the entire team and the crowd when she overcame a 5-2 deficit in the first set to win 7-5. Turvy rattled off 11 straight games on her way to a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Lynda Xepoleas of Purdue. Belinda Niu continued the `Cats run early-on, winning in straight sets 6-3, 6-1 over Daniela Vidal. Northwestern made it three in a row when Brittany Wowchuk finished off Krisztina Kapitany at No. 4, 7-5, 6-3.
Purdue closed the gap, bringing the team score to 3-2 with Gisella Pere's victory over Nida Hamilton at No. 6. After losing the first set 3-6, Hamilton trailed 0-4 in the second before winning four games in a row to tie the set. She was not able to finish the comeback, though, as Pere took the match 6-3, 6-4. Veronica Corning clinched the win for Northwestern with her come-from-behind victory over Mara Schmidt. Corning trailed in the first set but came back to tie it 6-6 and send it to a tiebreaker where she won 7-3. Corning defeated Schmidt 7-6, 6-4.
The `Cats are next in action on Thursday, Jan. 31, when they travel to Nashville, Tenn., to take on Vanderbilt at 3 p.m.
Northwestern 4, Purdue 2
1. Schmidt/Kapitany (PUR) def. No. 42 Abu Mushrefova/Hamilton (NU) 8-3
2. Xepoleas/Vidal (PUR) def. Corning/Wowchuk (NU) 8-4
3. Golder/Pere (PUR) led Niu/Turvy (NU) 5-4 (abandoned)
Order of finish:1, 2*
1. No. 67 Kate Turvy (NU) def. No. 80 Lynda Xepoleas (PUR) 7-5, 6-0
2. Veronica Corning (NU) def. No. 108 Mara Schmidt (PUR) 7-6 (3), 6-4
3. Belinda Niu (NU) def. Daniela Vidal (PUR) 6-3, 6-1
4. Brittany Wowchuk (NU) def. Krisztina Kapitany (PUR) 7-5, 6-3
5. Imogen Golder (PUR) led Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU) 7-6 (5), 5-5 (abandoned)
6. Gisella Pere (PUR) def. Nida Hamilton (NU) 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish:1, 3, 4, 6, 2*