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    May 10, 2013

    EVANSTON, Ill. - The UIC women's tennis team capped its 2012-13 season Friday after facing No. 11 Northwestern in the opening round of the NCAA Championship at the Combe Tennis Center.  The Flames ultimately dropped a 4-0 decision to the Wildcats to end their season with an overall 16-6 record.

    "Northwestern is a talented team, they are very disciplined and they made more balls than we did today," head coach Shannon Tully said.  "It was a good fight.  We did the best that we could and we were just happy to have the opportunity to compete in the NCAAs.  We will train this summer and look forward to getting back into practice again next season."

    Starting the match off in doubles, Northwestern came out quick and took two wins from UIC to claim the first point of the day.  Haley Craig and Mariana Palacios battled No. 14 Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton at No. 1, but fell 8-2, while Natalia Kuvakina and Ann-Sophie Hahn went down, 8-1, at No. 3 to Belinda Niu and Kate Turvy.

    Jana Knoppe and Kathryn Sharples also competed in doubles at No. 2, but had their match go unfinished with Veronica Corning and Alicia Barnett after the point was decided.

    The Flames had the match come to an end after three points were taken in singles by the Wildcats in two sets.  Palacios challenged No. 57 Turvy at No. 2, but was blanked in a 6-0, 6-0 decision.  Kuvakina was unable to fend off Niu at No. 3, where she suffered a 6-4, 6-1 loss, as the match was then decided at No. 6 after Keti Mebuke was taken out by Hamilton, 6-2, 6-1.

    Also competing, Craig was down 6-2, 4-2 against Corning at No. 1 before the match went unfinished, while Knoppe was in a close second set at No. 4 with Abu Mushrefova, 6-1, 5-4, and also went unfinished.  Sharples battled back against Barnett at No. 5 after falling 6-4 in her first set to come back in the second and hold a 3-2 lead before the match was left stranded.

    With its season concluded, UIC was able to capture their 17th-consecutive Horizon League Championship and make their 15th-straight NCAA appearance, all while collecting an overall singles record of 115-84, 80-45 during the dual season, and a doubles record of 46-47, 38-24 in the dual season.

    Knoppe led all players with 24 wins and ended the season by going 8-2 in her last 10 matches.  Craig, the lone senior, will graduate with a career singles record of 35-27, 12-5 against Horizon League opponents, and a doubles record of 42-27, 15-3 HL.


    Northwestern 4, UIC 0
    Singles:
    1. Veronica Corning (NU) vs. Haley Craig (UIC) 6-2, 4-2 unfinished
    2. No. 57 Kate Turvy (NU) def. Mariana Palacios (UIC) 6-0, 6-0
    3. Belinda Niu (NU) def. Natalia Kuvakina (UIC) 6-4, 6-1
    4. Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU) vs. Jana Knoppe (UIC) 6-1, 5-4 unfinished
    5. Alicia Barnett (NU) vs. Kathryn Sharples (UIC) 6-4, 2-3 unfinished
    6. Nida Hamilton (NU) def. Keti Mebuke (UIC) 6-2, 6-1
    Order of Finish: 2, 3, 6

    Doubles:
    1. No. 14 Linda Abu Mushrefova/Nida Hamilton (NU) def. Haley Craig/Mariana Palacios (UIC) 8-2
    2. Veronica Corning/Alicia Barnett (NU) vs. Jana Knoppe/Kathryn Sharples (UIC) 7-2 unfinished
    3. Belinda Niu/Kate Turvy (NU) def. Natalia Kuvakina/Ann-Sophie Hahn (UIC) 8-1
    Order of Finish: 1, 3