By Mike Marut
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.
NU: 4 MSU: 1
1. Larner 6-4,6-2
2. Lipp 6-1,6-0
3. Barnett 6-1,6-6
4. Chatt 6-3,6-4
5. Rooney 2-6,4-6
6. Rischbieth 3-6,4-3
— NU Women's Tennis (@NUWildcatTennis) April 29, 2016