In a valiant effort to try to topple its first top-5 ranked opponent since 2014, Northwestern came up short to No. 3 North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Championships, 4-2.
The match had a tough start with the Wildcats losing the doubles point, but sophomore Alex Chatt quickly earned NU its first singles point of the day. Half of all singles matches went to a third set.
Sophomore Maddie Lipp at court No. 2, senior Alicia Barnett at court No. 3 and junior Brooke Rischbieth at court No. 6 all gave their opponents runs for their money. The only other singles victory came from Lipp and the final blow came from Rischbieth’s loss at No. 6.
The Wildcats end the season with a 14-11 overall record.
Sophomores Maddie Lipp and Alex Chatt will be participating in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships at the end of the month, the NCAA announced Wednesday. Lipp also received an at-large bid in the NCAA Singles Championships.
Last week, Lipp was ranked No. 50 in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, and has a team-high 23 singles win wins this season. The sophomore also recorded an 8-1 record in conference play this season.
Meanwhile, Chatt and Lipp were ranked No. 22 in the nation in doubles. The pairing has a record of 23-9 this season and has defeated eight ranked opponents.
The NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will take place from May 25-30 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Eight days after snapping Michigan’s 37-game Big Ten win streak, Northwestern couldn’t put on a repeat performance as the Wolverines swept the Wildcats 4-0 in the Big Ten tournament semifinals Saturday.
After dropping the doubles point, the Wildcats lost singles matches at No. 5 by Jillian Rooney, No. 3 by Alicia Barnett and No. 4 by Alex Chatt. Saturday was the first time Northwestern got swept since March 25 against Texas Tech.
Michigan will go on to face Ohio State for the conference title.
After a bye into the second round of the Big Ten Tournament, Northwestern faced host Michigan State, whom the Wildcats had just beat handily last weekend, and defeated the Spartans 4-1.
This tournament match was no different as NU took the doubles point quickly with wins from the No. 1 and No. 3 courts, who won 6-1 and 6-2, respectively. In singles play, sophomore Maddie Lipp took the upper hand quickly in her match, winning in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0.
Following Lipp was fellow sophomore Erin Larner at the No. 1 singles court. Larner also won in straight sets over opponent Erin Faulkner, 6-4, 6-2.
Up 3-0 in the match, junior Jillian Rooney fell at No. 5 singles before sophomore Alex Chatt wrapped up the victory for the Cats. Chatt fought back from being down 3-2 in the second set to take the match 6-3, 6-4, battling her opponent at the No. 4 singles court.
Finishing off Spartans 4-1 means that the Cats will face Michigan in the semifinals after they knocked off Purdue 4-0. The post-season rematch will be more difficult than the match last weekend, when NU upset the Wolverines. Coach Claire Pollard has said recently the post-season brings more intense matches than the regular season, so a match pitting the Cats against Michigan could be even more electric than the regular season contest.