MINNEAPOLIS – The Maryland women’s tennis team fell to top-seeded Northwestern in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Big Ten Tournament on Friday by a score of 4-0.
Maryland advanced to the quarterfinal round after topping Minnesota by a 4-2 margin on Thursday. It was Maryland’s first Big Ten Tournament victory since joining the conference.
"I'm very proud of the way our team competed today," head coach Daria Panova said. "We played a very good opponent and were able to take them to three sets in four different matches. I think we showed how much we've grown over the course of the season and I thought today was the best effort I've seen from the team all year. I'd like to thank Katya for all her hard work and dedication to our program over the past four seasons -- I know the best is yet to come for her. We're going to enjoy our time off now but come back hungry and ready to compete again next season."
Maryland got the match started on the right foot, with its top doubles duo of Eva Alexandrova and Millie Stretton upsetting fourth-ranked Lipp/Larner of Northwestern. The 6-3 victory was their team-best 16th of the season and their second over a ranked opponent. The two pairings also met earlier in the season, with Stretton and Alexandrova leading 5-3 when the match ended unfinished.
The Wildcats were then able to respond, posting consecutive wins at second and third singles to claim the doubles point. The deciding match came at second doubles, where the two teams were tied at four before Northwestern won two-straight games to take the match.
Northwestern continued its strong play when singles play began, winning three-consecutive matches at second, fourth and sixth singles to take the match.
The Wildcats’ match-clinching win at first singles came in three sets, with Alexandrova falling to No. 78 Maddie Lipp of Northwestern in three sets.
Playing at first and third singles respectively, Maryland’s Ekaterina Tour and Stretton each split sets before having their match end unfinished in three sets. Tour won her opening set over No. 37 Larner, while Stretton split with No. 121 Or.
Katsiaryna Yemelyanenka’s match at fifth singles also went unfinished in the third set.
The loss ends the season for Maryland, which will graduate its lone senior Ekaterina Tour. The Terrapins end the season with an 11-13 record and advanced to the conference championships for the third-consecutive season.
For full results from Maryland’s match against Northwestern, please see below.
Northwestern 4, Maryland 0
Order of Finish: (1, 3, 2)
1. Ekaterina Tour (MD) vs. No. 37 Larner (NW), 6-2, 3-6, 3-4 UF
2. No. 78 Lipp (NW) def. Eva Alexandrova (MD), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
3. Millie Stretton (MD) vs. No. 121 Or (NW), 4-6, 6-4, 4-4 UF
4. Byrne (NW) def. Zoe Kulkarni (MD), 6-2, 7-5
5. Katsiaryna Yemelyanenka (MD), 4-6, 6-4, 1-5 UF
6. Doshi (NW) def. Saya Usui (MD), 6-3, 6-0
Order of Finish: (6, 4, 2*)