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    Sept. 3, 1997

    1997-98 Northwestern Men's Tennis Preview

    The 1996-97 season marked one of the most successful campaigns in Northwestern tennis history. The 'Cats finished the Big Ten regular season with a perfect 10-0 record. They won the NCAA Midwest Regional and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time in seven years and only the second time in school history. With its top five singles players returning and the addition of two talented freshman, NU expects only to improve on these accomplishments. The Wildcats hope to make a run at the Big Ten Tournament title and make more of an impact at the NCAA Championship Tournament.

    Heading NU's list of returnees is two-time All-Big Ten honoree and 1997 conference player of the year Alex Witt. Witt, who played at the No. 1 singles spot, earned an automatic bid to the NCAA singles championship last season. He finished the season ranked No. 89th nationally with a 27-14 overall record.

    Junior Marc Silva anchored the No. 2 singles spot and finished ranked No. 70 in the final Rolex Collegiate Rankings. An All-Big Ten honoree, Silva posted a team-best 31-13 overall record and an 8-2 mark in the Big Ten, while winning 11 of his final 12 matches. Silva only got better in the off season and proved it by winning the 1997 ITA National Summer Championship.

    Also returning are juniors Ry Tarpley and Doug Bohaboy and sophomore Martin Bengtsson.

    Tarpley played at the No. 3 singles spot and notched a 24-18 overall record. Bohaboy was the mainstay at No. 5 singles, while Bengtsson held down the No. 4 spot. Bohaboy notched a 27-13 overall mark and a near-perfect record of 9-1 in the Big Ten. In just his first season, Bengtsson posted a 24-13 record.

    This-N-Than About the 'Cats from '97

    Witt and Torricelli Earn Regional Honors: Alex Witt was the Regional Tennis Magazine/ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportmanship & Leadership award recipient as voted upon the regional awards committee. Coach Torricelli was named the Regional ITA Wilson Coach of the Year.

    Witt, Silva and Torricelli Earn Conference Honors: Alex Witt was named the 1997 Big Ten Player of the Year, while head coach Paul Torricelli was named the conference Coach of the Year. Sophomore Marc Silva joined Witt on the All-Big Ten team.

    Witt is only the second Wildcat to have earned Player of the Year honors, with All-American Todd Martin being the first in 1990. This was Torricelli's third Big Ten Coach of the Year honor (1990, 1993).

    Head Coach Paul Torricelli: Paul Torricelli, the Big Ten Coach of the Year, is in his 15th season as head coach of the Northwestern men's tennis program. Torricelli, the all-time winningest coach in NU history, has an overall record of 218-147 and a Big Ten mark of 107-62.