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    Former Wildcat Fires No-Hitter

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    A brief seven-day stint on the disabled list did former Northwestern pitcher Eric Jokisch a world of good when he returned to the bump Tuesday night for the Tennessee Smokies, the Class AA minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Jokisch threw his first career no-hitter as he halted the lengthy 11-game winning streak of the Jacksonville Suns.

    The former NU southpaw was in command early on as he mowed down the first 10 hitters he faced before issuing the first of four walks in the game. Jokisch settled quickly and got plenty of help from his defense along the way, including a fantastic diving stab by shortstop Javier Baez to secure the second out in the bottom of the ninth. The Virginia, Ill., native then got reliever Pete Andreiczyk to ground out to Christian Villanueva at third base to end the ballgame and cement his place in baseball history.

    "This is probably the best day of my life," Jokisch told MiLB.com's Ashley Marshall after the game. "I will try and get [the ball] home as safely and quickly as possible. That's something I will keep forever and hopefully tell my kids and grandkids that it happened.

    "I grew up just hoping one day to throw a no-hitter in the Major Leagues," Jokisch added. "This isn't the same, but right now I don't think I could feel any happier about the way things are going."

    It was the first nine-inning no-hitter by a Tennessee pitcher since Leo Estrella accomplished the feat in 2000. Jokisch's gem was the first individual no-hitter in the Southern League since 2011 when Matt Moore of the Montgomery Biscuits did it against the Mobile BayBears. Moore is now a member of the Tampa Bay Rays big league club.

    Here is a video of the final out and ensuing celebration, courtesy of MiLB.com:

    Jokisch threw 108 pitches and struck out eight Suns to earn his ninth victory of the season. The lefty helped his own cause at the plate with a pair of hits and his first RBI of the season in the 10-0 route.

    In April, the 2008 Big Ten Freshman of the Year was named the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month. He currently leads the Southern League with 114 strikeouts and ranks third with 128.2 innings pitched this season.

    Here is a video of Jokisch's postgame interview, courtesy of the Jacksonville Suns:

    Volleyball To Host Two Skills Clinics

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    The Northwestern Wildcats are off to their best start in 25 years and the team wants to share its skills with area girls 8th-grade-and-under this fall.

     

    The first in-season clinic will be held on Monday, Oct. 1 at 4:30 p.m. inside Welsh-Ryan Arena. Various drills will be conducted in an effort to teach fundamental volleyball skills to all participants. The clinic will last 90 minutes and will be followed by an autograph session. Participants who register for this clinic will receive three vouchers for free admission to any future Northwestern volleyball match (a $21 value).

     

    The second clinic will take place on Sunday, Oct. 21 after the Wildcats battle the Iowa Hawkeyes in an exciting Big Ten match. The match begins at 2 p.m. and the clinic will begin shortly upon its conclusion. Participants who register for this clinic will receive free admission to the match and two vouchers for free admission to any future match.

     

    Participants should arrive in athletic shoes and comfortable clothing and should be prepared to have a great time learning the game from the Wildcats.

     

    Registration for each clinic is $10 and includes vouchers, instruction, a water bottle and access to autograph sessions. Space is limited to 100 participants for each clinic, so sign-up now. For more information, or to register, please contact Joe Thuente by phone at 847-467-6862 or via e-mail at j-thuente@northwestern.edu.

    Fencers Compete In Prestigious International Event

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    Five Northwestern fencers, along with head coach Laurie Schiller and associate head coach Ed Kaihatsu, traveled overseas earlier this summer for the 2012 Korea-USA Elite Fencing Invitational (KUEFI).

    The competition, staged at SUNY Korea in Songdo International City, pitted Team Korea against Team USA against Team Korea over four spirited days of action. The team of United States All-Stars featured 83 fencers form 10 of the top fencing squads around the country, including the five Wildcats.

    A pair of 2012 NCAA Championship qualifiers, including All-American Kate Cavanaugh, represented NU in the epée competition. Cavanaugh was joined in the tournament by fellow NCAA qualifier Courtney Dumas and classmate Kendrick Mooney. Dumas recorded the highest finish of the trio, placing 10th. Cavanaugh finished 15th and Mooney checked in at 21st in the talented international field.

    After battling through injury for much of her first season at Northwestern, Katherine Kim came on strong at the end of the season and carried that success into a great showing in Korea. Kim finished 10th in the foil competition at the KUEFI.

    Team captain Alicia Gurrieri represented the Wildcats in the women's sabre event. Gurrieri placed 13th in the competition.

    Special thanks to Ed Kaihatsu, who documented the trip by taking hundreds of pictures. For a small sample of the experience, visit the photo gallery below.

    KUEFI Photo Gallery

    BLOG: Back On Court

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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern's quest to return to the NCAA Tournament began officially on Wednesday with the first volleyball practice of the 2012 season. In fact, the 'Cats had a pair of practices on the docket sandwiched around other meetings and events.

     

    The Wildcats reported back Evanston for the fall on Tuesday, Aug. 7. After moving back to campus the team took its physicals, met with NU's compliance staff, received its equipment and enjoyed a team dinner with support staff, family and friends inside the scenic Stadium Club high atop Ryan Field.

     

    Wednesday's schedule began bright and early with an appointment with Northwestern Sports Performance coach Katie Fort. After all the testing was out of the way, the Wildcats took to the floor for the first practice of the season at 9 a.m. Following a spirited opening session the team broke for lunch and another series of meetings, which included presentations on nutrition, marketing and athletic communications.

     

    Northwestern will practice again twice Thursday and once on Friday morning. On Friday afternoon the 'Cats will be participating in a few video shoots for the upcoming season. Head coach Keylor Chan and the team will wrap up the first week by hosting the third annual Drills! Drills! Drills! Coaches Clinic for high school, middle school and club coaches. For more information about the clinic, click here.

     

    Stay tuned to NUsports.com for more preseason volleyball coverage of the 'Cats. The regular season opens on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 4 p.m. when the Wildcats take on Bowling Green at the Marquette Classic in Milwaukee. For the complete 2012 schedule, click here.

    What the Future Holds

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    EVANSTON -- One week ago Friday more than 100 Northwestern student-athletes bid farewell to the university armed with the tools to head out into a successful life after college.

     

    Many Wildcats will scatter to every corner of the country and the seniors from the fencing team are no exception. Kerry Bickford, Annelise Eeman, Rebecca Grohman, Chloe McGuffin, Devynn Patterson and Camille Provencal starred together on the strips for four years and the sextet also added scores of honors in the classroom. All six fencers were recently named Academic All-Big Ten honorees.

     

    Bickford, along with swimming's Shelby Johnson and Tobias Reitz from men's tennis, claimed the Northwestern Director's Award for maintaining the highest GPA among all student-athletes. Patterson, along with men's golfer Sam Chien, was a recipient of the Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award.

     

    Each of the Wildcats will move on to the "real world" soon. Here are their plans for the future in their own words:

     

    Kerry Bickford - Art History and English:

    "After graduation, I will be spending the summer interning for the Prints and Drawings Department at the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as working for the Northwestern Summer Fencing Clinics. In the fall, I hope to pursue a job in museum or gallery work, and eventually plan to apply to graduate school to study Art History. I'm very excited to learn more about my field and to start working toward my ultimate goal of becoming a curator."

     

    Annelise Eeman - History and Religious Studies:

    "This summer I'm interning at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Headquarters in Des Plaines, Ill. Come September, I'll be back in Minnesota, enrolling at Luther Seminary to work on my Master of Arts in Systematic Theology. The plan right now is to work on getting my doctorate to teach, and maybe learning how to coach some fencing locally."

     

    Rebecca Grohman - Sociology and Science in Human Culture:

    "After graduation I am interested in pursuing clinical research before applying to medical school. I am looking forward to working closely with both patients and physicians to learn about different specialties, further my clinical experience and to better prepare me for a career in medicine!"

     

    Chloe McGuffin - Mechanical Engineering:

    "After graduation I will be joining Boeing's commercial aircraft division as a Payloads Engineer. I will be working on the 747 line of aircraft in the Seattle area. I look forward to putting all the skills and knowledge I have gained at Northwestern into practice to improve the experience of air travelers worldwide."


    Devynn Patterson - Learning and Organizational Change:

    "After graduation I will be joining Teach For America as a 2012 Corps Member in the Bay Area! I have been assigned to teach either elementary school or middle school in the South Bay, which is comprised of San Jose, Mountain View and the surrounding areas. I am very excited to begin what will be an eye-opening two-year commitment to help close the nation's educational achievement gap. I look forward to continue working with kids and becoming a teacher!"

     

    Camille Provencal-Dayle - Political Science:

    "After graduation I will be joining Devynn Patterson as a Teach For America 2012 Corps Member in Greater New Orleans. I look forward to teaching secondary math, a subject youth in the United States continue to falling behind in comparison to their international peers. My experience on the Northwestern Fencing team has given me the tools to understand how to motivate and challenge others, as well as learn to be challenged. I am excited to apply skills gained both on the strip and in the classroom to my future students."

    BLOG: Wildcats Get First Look At New Locker Room

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    Photo Gallery

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Moments before a spirited spring practice was to begin Monday afternoon, Northwestern's volleyball team got its first look at the newly renovated locker room space inside Welsh-Ryan Arena.

    The new locker room, which took three months to complete, features everything the Wildcats could want and more, including new carpeting, a player lounge, new televisions for film study and game preparation, remodeled bathroom facilities, huge team photos and much more.

    One of the new features in the revamped home of the 'Cats is a place where graduating seniors can leave their mark on the program. Upon playing their final match, players will be asked to sign inside the Northwestern insignia. Letterwinners will sign their name inside the purple 'N' and All-Big Ten and All-America honorees will sign on the head of the Wildcat. Alex Ayers, Mary Grace Gallagher and Kathryn Chrystal, who all finished their careers at the end of the 2011 season, will be among the first to begin the new tradition.

    To view photos of the rehabilitation process through its completion, please check out the photo gallery at the top of the page.

    Julie Chin, who will be one of two seniors on the 2012 squad, spoke on behalf of her teammates Monday and she talked about how excited they are for the new space. Check out the video of the reveal right here:

    Northwestern defeated three top-25 teams last season, including No. 2 Nebraska in the regular season finale. The Wildcats return nine letterwinners in the fall from the 2011 team including All-Big Ten and AVCA All-Mideast Region Honorable Mention selection Stephanie Holthus and Big Ten All-Freshman Team member Katie Dutchman.

    BLOG: NU Fencers Visit Dewey Elementary

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    Evanston, Ill. -- When's the last time you heard of kids learning medieval sword techniques on an average school day in Evanston?

    On Friday, January 28, Dewey Elementary third and fourth graders participated in an interactive fencing session led by the Northwestern Wildcat women's fencing team. Beyond a lively discussion about the lore and literal history of fencing, students learned about each weapon, the foil, sabre and epée, and just how real the sport of fencing is today. 

    Fencing weapons (the plastic variety) and gear were handled and basic techniques were shared and practiced. Students also learned a bit about what it takes to balance the rigors of a top university education with the training and travel of a highly competitive sport.

    "This is really cool," commented fourth graders as they practiced proper lunge techniques.

    Other students were eager to share personal stories of their exposure to the sport, and there was a ripple of enthusiasm about watching fencing in the upcoming Olympic Games.

    "I know I have grown up a lot from this sport and without it I would not be at Northwestern University," says NU fencer Alicia Gurrieri. "The individual aspect [of fencing] forces competitors to always solve problems on their own and try harder each day."

    Dewey teachers strive to regularly impart such lessons to students. Physical education teacher Julie Stevenson explained, "The involvement with NU reinforces what I am telling my students and it gives them a real life role-model that they can aspire to be like in terms of academics, character, and athletics."

    Dewey and Northwestern are planning more fencing sessions as well as a fine arts extension, where students will advance their life drawing skills in renderings of fencing poses.

    Friday's session was the latest in a diverse series of collaborations between the Dewey Wellness Committee and Northwestern University student-athletes from many of the 19 varsity sports. The fencing team first volunteered at Dewey's International Walk to School Day event last October when fencers were bombarded with questions from eager students.

    "Today was a natural extension of the October event," said Stephanie Fine, parent and co-chair of the Dewey Wellness Committee. "Students were eager to learn about fencing, the fencers were very generous with their time, and the school embraced the opportunity. We look forward to future collaborations."

    Courtesy Dewey Elementary

    Fencing Community Mourns the Loss of Remenyik

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    Evanston, Ill. -- Charlotte Remenyik, the woman credited with revitalizing the Northwestern fencing program in the mid-1970's, passed away on December 21, 2011.

    Remenyik took the reins in 1976 and led the Wildcats to a spotless 9-0 record and a Big Ten title in her first year. The next year produced similar results with a 6-2 overall mark and a second straight Big Ten title. Following the 1977-78 campaign, Laurie Schiller took over head coaching duties and has been at the helm ever since.

    Remenyik's contributions to Northwestern fencing are recognized every October when the 'Cats host the Remenyik Open which attracts top competition from around the country for an exciting weekend.

    A memorial service for Remenyik will be held Saturday, January 14 in Cleveland, Ohio. The service will be held at 2 p.m. EST at St. Emeric Church, which is located at 1860 W. 22nd St. It will be held primarily in Hungarian.

    In lieu of flowers, the Remenyik family has asked that contributions be made to:

    The American/Hungarian Friends of Scouting
    P.O. Box 6783
    Cleveland, Ohio 44101

    Midnight Madness with Northwestern Volleyball

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    Head coach Keylor Chan and Northwestern's volleyball team would love to invite girls in grades one through eight and their parents to come out to Welsh-Ryan Arena on Saturday, October 29 for Midnight Madness, an all-night party with the 'Cats.

    Everyone is invited to come out to Welsh-Ryan Arena for a delicious dinner beginning at 5 p.m. Then at 7 p.m. you'll be able to cheer on the Wildcats as they play against a Big Ten foe, the Wisconsin Badgers. The night does not end when the match does, however and in fact the party is just getting started.

    After the match there will be a party with the Northwestern players where fans can partake in wacky games and hang out with the 'Cats late into the night. The fun will roll on until midnight when participants will leave with a t-shirt, a water bottle and a voucher redeemable for two tickets to any future Northwestern volleyball match.

    The cost for the evening that promises to be filled with fun is just $20. You can register now or find out more information by calling 847-467-6862 or by sending an e-mail to wildcatmarketing@northwestern.edu.