EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern had little trouble in its opening match of the 2013 NCAA Women's Tennis Championship Friday as it cruised to a 4-0 win over UIC at Combe Tennis Center.
With the victory, NU advances to take on Baylor -- a 4-1 winner over San Diego State -- in a second-round match at noon Saturday. The victor of that match moves on to the round of 16 next week in Urbana, Ill.
The Wildcats barely broke a sweat in defeating their crosstown foe on Friday.
NU dominated doubles play to surge out to the early advantage. At No. 1, the 14th-ranked duo of Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton notched an 8-2 win over Haley Craig and Mariana Palacios before the No. 3 pairing of Belinda Niu and Kate Turvy clinched the point with an 8-1 victory at No. 3 against Natalia Kuvakina and Ann-Sophie Hahn.
UIC Match Highlights
The Wildcats continued that momentum into singles play where all six individuals won their opening set. Turvy, ranked No. 57, had no trouble at all with Palacios at the No. 2 spot where she didn't surrender a single game, winning 6-0, 6-0.
The remaining four matches on the courts eventually all headed down the home stretch together. It was Niu at No. 3 who defeated Kuvakina 6-4, 6-1 to bring Northwestern within one point of the match victory before Hamilton closed things out just 22 seconds later as she completed her 6-2, 6-1 domination of Keti Mebuke at No. 6.
The win sets up a matchup with Baylor on Saturday for a spot in the round of 16 at stake. The two teams met earlier this season on Feb. 24 in Evanston with Northwestern coming away with a 4-1 win.
Northwestern 4, UIC 0
1. Veronica Corning (NU) vs. Haley Craig (UIC) 6-2, 4-2, unfinished
2. #57 Kate Turvy (NU) def. Mariana Palacios (UIC) 6-0, 6-0
3. Belinda Niu (NU) def. Natalia Kuvakina (UIC) 6-4, 6-1
4. Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU) vs. Jana Knoppe (UIC) 6-1, 5-4, unfinished
5. Alicia Barnett (NU) vs. Kathryn Sharples (UIC) 6-4, 2-3, unfinished
6. Nida Hamilton (NU) def. Keti Mebuke (UIC) 6-2, 6-1
Order of finish: 2, 3, 6*
1. #14 Linda Abu Mushrefova / Nida Hamilton (NU) def. Haley Craig / Mariana Palacios (UIC) 8-2
2. Veronica Corning / Alicia Barnett (NU) def. Jana Knoppe / Kathryn Sharples (UIC) 7-2
3. Belinda Niu / Kate Turvy (NU) def. Natalia Kuvakina / Ann-Sophie Hahn (UIC) 8-1
Order of finish: 1, 3*