Northwestern Women End Season in Round of 16
May 20, 2004
ATHENS, Ga. - Northwestern's ninth-ranked women's tennis team's run in the NCAA Championships ended at the Round of 16 when it was defeated 4-1 by fourth-ranked Duke at McWhorter Courts on the campus of the University of Georgia.
The 10th-seeded Wildcats concluded their 2004 dual season with a 25-5 record and fell to 13-15 all-time at the postseason tournament. The seventh-seeded Blue Devils, meanwhile, improved to 22-4 and will meet No. 2 seed Stanford in the quarterfinal round.
"Give credit to Duke, as they played a tough match," said head coach Claire Pollard. "I hope we can build off the experience we gained in this tournament and apply it to next year."
Jamie Peisel (Savannah, Ga./Savannah Country Day) and Alexis Prousis (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) got NU off to an uplifting start in doubles. Duke struck first with its win at No. 3, but third-ranked Cristelle Grier (Epsom, England/Putney) and Jessica Rush (Dallas, Texas/The Hockaday School) tied things up by breaking serve at 7-4 to defeat 51st-ranked Julia Smith and Tory Zawacki at No. 1.
On the adjacent court, Peisel and Prousis negated their 4-0 deficit by winning four-straight games to knot the match. After some seesawing, they took a 7-6 lead, then broke serve in deuce against Amanda Johnson and Saras Arasu to give the 'Cats a 1-0 advantage.
Singles, unfortunately, unfolded a different way for Northwestern. Third-ranked Grier fell to No. 8 Johnson 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1, and Connie Chiang (Oshkosh, Wis./Oshkosh West) was next with her 6-2, 6-0 defeat by Kristin Cargill.
Down 2-1, the Wildcats still had hope with No. 44 Rush leading 6-2, 5-4 at the two spot, and Peisel forcing a comeback at No. 4. However, Prousis dropped a 6-4, 6-3 match to Zawacki at No. 3, and Andrea Yung (San Marino, Calif./San Marino) was beaten 6-3, 6-1 by Arasu at No. 5 to end the contest.
"Despite this loss, I am confident that Cristelle and Jessica can bounce back and perform well next week," said Pollard.
Grier and Rush begin singles competition on Monday, May 24 and doubles competition on Tuesday, May 25. Draws have not yet been determined.
No. 7 seed Duke 4, No. 10 seed Northwestern 1