Women's Tennis Ousted By Northwestern In NCAA Tournament, 4-0
May 15, 2004
Evanston, Ill.- An outstanding 2004 campaign highlighted by an eighth consecutive Horizon League title and a sixth straight NCAA berth came to an end on Saturday for the University of Illinois at Chicago women's tennis team, as the Flames were eliminated by No. 10 Northwestern, 4-0, at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center.
The Flames finished the season 16-7 overall, while the Wildcats (24-4) move on to face Notre Dame tomorrow in second round action after the Irish downed Iowa in the morning session, 4-1.
Although a tough defeat, the match was not a blowout by any means as the Flames received strong singles performances by numerous contributors, including No. 1 singles standout Beatriz Cabrera, who battled the third-ranked player in the country the entire time.
Cabrera and Northwestern's Cristelle Grier, a 30-match winner who has chalked up a win over top-ranked Agata Cioroch of Georgia earlier in the year, went toe-to-toe as Grier barely took the first set, 6-4, while Cabrera led the second set 3-2 before the match was called with the Wildcats already clinching the team win.
Molly Smith was on track to defeat Andrea Yung at the fifth spot, winning the first set 7-5 when the contest was halted due to the Northwestern win. Corey Steven's match with Jamie Peisel was also stopped for the same reason as Steven was rebounding from a 6-2 loss in the first frame to lead the second set 5-2.
Ayca Gumuscu and Iris Jaklin held their own on the doubles side, leading Peisel and Alexis Prousis by a 5-4 count when the match was also stopped after the Wildcats took No. 1 and No. 3 doubles to capture the point.
Jaklin also hung tough in her No. 3 singles match versus 29-match winner Prousis, dropping a close 6-4, 6-4 decision.
UIC Head Coach Shannon Tully was happy about her team's overall high level of play against one of the toughest teams in the country.
"Even though we lost, it was an incredible match," said Tully. "I was very pleased. It was a great end to the season. Beatriz [was] actually giving the No. 3 player in the country a run for her money, Molly was up [in her match] and Corey was coming back. They competed like they deserved to be out there."