No. 7 Northwestern blanks struggling squad

There is a reason Northwestern is the seventh-ranked women's tennis team in the nation. It made that reason evident when it swept past the Golden Eagles, 7-0, Tuesday in Evanston, Ill.

The Wildcats started off strong, winning all three doubles matches for the doubles point. Senior Veronica Garcia Briseno and freshman Dominika Dabrowski went into the match with a challenge ahead of them, facing the third-ranked duo of Jessica Rush and Cristelle Grier. The Wildcats had control of the court and defeated Garcia Briseno and Dabrowski, 8-0.

In the No. 2 spot the senior pair of Genevieve Charron and Eva Trujillo-Herrera took an 8-3 fall to Jamie Peisel and Alexis Prousis. The third doubles team was the closest to a win for the Golden Eagles, but they were unable to pull it off. Senior Annabelle Espinosa and freshman partner Callan Smith were dropped, 8-5, by the Wildcat pair of Andrea Yung and Ruth Barnes.

Espinosa thinks the team will put a focus on doubles in practice this week.

"We'll work on doubles, approaching the net, moving around and not just letting your partner get the ball, not being afraid of the ball," she said.

Singles play did not produce any points for the Golden Eagles, but the team did not go down without a fight.

"The score was 7-0, but in singles I felt we gave them a battle," Garcia Briseno said.

Garcia Briseno had a battle in store for her at first singles, where she faced No. 3 Grier. Although she lost the match, 6-3, 6-1, Garcia Briseno was not disappointed with it.

"She was really good," she said. "I was happy I played her. I learned a lot.

"She might go pro, so I'm glad I can say that I played her. I saw that I could have some chance with her."

Sixth singles finished next with freshman Francina Bonnelly falling, 6-2, 6-2 to Connie Chiang. Next, Northwestern's win in the No. 2 spot secured the win for them, with Rush controlling the match and taking down Charron, 6-2, 6-0.

Third singles saw Smith fall, 6-2, 6-4, to Prousis.

"Callan played really well," Garcia Briseno said. "It was probably the best game Callan has had."

Trujillo-Herrera had a close match, but ultimately fell, 6-4, 6-4, to Peisel.

"She played much better," Garcia Briseno said. "She's getting back to her normal play."

Espinosa was the last to finish. She gave Barnes a challenge in the first set, keeping the score close before falling, 7-5. The match ended with Barnes winning, 7-5, 6-2.

"I thought I should have won," Espinosa said. "There were points that I should have got, but I just didn't finish them out. I think I played pretty well, just didn't finish out the point."

Once again the biggest challenge for the Golden Eagles was consistency.

"They are more consistent than we are and have the ability to finish points more than we do," Espinosa said.

Both Espinosa and Garcia Briseno said their coaches thought this was the team's best performance.

"We were basically better than we had been, especially the Indiana match," Espinosa said. "We had a good practice and it showed."

Marquette will next face Pepperdine Tuesday in Malibu, Calif.