NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

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    May 12, 1998

    Alex Witt Named Regional ITA Senior Player of the Year

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern's Alex Witt (Houston, Texas/Memorial) was named the Regional ITA Player of the Year by the Regional Awards Committee. With this honor, Witt will now be put on the ballot for National ITA Senior Player of the Year.

    Witt, who is ranked 33rd nationally, has a 30-8 overall record. Witt, the 1997 Big Ten Player of the Year and Arthur Ashe Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award winner, is a three-time All-Big Ten honoree. This season, he won the Rolex Midwest Championship and was the runner-up at the Big Ten Singles Championship.

    Witt has beaten six players in the top 50 this season, including top-ranked Bob Bryan of Stanford, 7-6 (5), 6-3.

    NORTHWESTERN MEN'S TENNIS
    17-5; 8-2 Big Ten Regular Season * National Ranking: 31
    No. 2 Seed * NCAA Region IV Championship
    University of Notre Dame * Notre Dame, Ind.
    May 15-17, 1998

    'Cats No. 2 Seed at NCAA Region IV Championship: Northwestern, ranked No. 31 nationally, earned the second seed in the NCAA Region IV Championship. The 'Cats take on seventh seed Louisville on Fri., May 15 at 1 p.m. The winner of the eight-team midwest regional advances to the NCAA Sweet 16, which will take place at the University of Georgia from May 22-31. The 'Cats were the runner-up at the Big Ten Tournament on May 3. After defeating Indiana (4-1) in the quarterfinals and Purdue (4-0) in the semifinals, the second-seeded 'Cats fell to top-seeded Illinois (4-0) in the championship match.

    The 'Cats enter this weekend's tournament with a 17-5 overall record. Prior to its loss to Illinois in the conference tournament, NU won seven-straight matches.

    'Cats at the 1997 NCAA Region IV Championship: Northwestern won the 1997 NCAA Region IV Championship last season. The second-seeded 'Cats defeated Indiana (4-1), Illinois (4-0) and Minnesota (4-2) to garner their first-ever regional championship and advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second time in seven years. Northwestern, seeded 16th in the Sweet 16, fell to top-seeded UCLA, 4-0, in first-round action.

    'Cats vs. Region IV Championship Field: NU has a 5-1 record this season against teams in the region IV field: Purdue (2-0); Michigan (1-0); Notre Dame (1-0); Wisconsin (1-0); and Minnesota (0-1). The 'Cats did not play Duke or Louisville during the 1997-98 season.

    Head Coach Paul Torricelli: Paul Torricelli 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 235-153. Torricelli has twice been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year (1993, 1997).

    'Cats in the National Rankings: NU has been ranked among the nation's elite throughout the 1997-98 season:

    Preseason               24
    Fall                    21
    First Spring Ranking    13* 
    Second Spring Ranking   14
    Third Spring Ranking    24
    Fourth Spring Ranking   28
    Fifth Spring Ranking    31
    

    *This ties the highest team ranking for the Wildcat program. The 1990 squad also was ranked 13th.

    Silva Named Big Ten Player of the Year: Junior Marc Silva was named the 1998 Big Ten Tennis Player of the Year by the conference coaches. Silva and senior Alex Witt were named to the All-Big Ten Team.

    Silva has now earned All-Big Ten honors for two-straight years. Witt, the 1997 Big Ten Player of the Year, captured All-Big Ten honors for the three-straight years.

    'Cats Sweep Conference Honors: The 'Cats swept conference tennis player of the year honors as sophomore Katherine Nasser earned that award on the women's side.

    Silva and Witt Earn Automatic Bid to NCAA Singles Championship: Marc Silva and Alex Witt earned automatic bids to the NCAA Singles Championship, which will be held on May 23-26 at the University of Georgia. This individual championship will consist of 64 players and 32 doubles team.

    This is Witt's third-consecutive bid to the individual championship. He participated in the singles championship last season and teamed with former Wildcat Rafael Rizo-Patron in 1996. Silva is making his first appearance in the NCAA Singles Championship.

    Witt and Silva Ranked Among Top 25 Players: Marc Silva and Alex Witt are ranked among the nation's top collegiate tennis players. Silva is currently ranked 31st and his highest ranking of the year was 20th.

    Witt is ranked 33rd with his highest ranking of the year being eighth on February 17th.

    Junior Doug Bohaboy sported a personal-best ranking of 57th and is presently tied for No. 99.

    A Banner Year: Marc Silva has made a big splash in the Big Ten and on the national scene. Ranked No. 31 nationally, Silva has won 24 of his last 26 matches. Entering the Big Ten Tournament, he has a 27-5 overall record. Twenty-five of Silva's 27 wins have come in straight sets.

    A Fond Farewell: Senior Alex Witt is competing in his final NCAA Tournament. Witt, who is ranked No. 33 nationally, has been a mainstay in the top half of the 'Cats singles lineup during his NU career. This season, he is 30-8 overall. The 1997 Big Ten Player of the Year and Arthur Ashe Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award winner, Witt is a three-time All-Big Ten honoree. This season, he won the Rolex Midwest Championship and was the runner-up at the Big Ten Singles Championship.

    Witt has beaten six players in the top 50 this season, including top-ranked Bob Bryan of Stanford, 7-6 (5), 6-3.

    NCAA Region IV Championship Brackets
    First Round
    Friday, May 15, 1998
    No. 1 Duke (20-5) vs. No. 8 Wisconsin (15-9), 9 a.m. EST
    No. 4 Purdue (14-10) vs. No. 5 Michigan (13-8), 9 a.m. EST
    No. 2 Notre Dame (18-7) vs. No. 6 Minnesota (11-12), 
    1 p.m. EST
    No. 2 Northwestern (17-5) vs. No. 7 Louisville (18-7), 
    1 p.m. EST
    Semifinals
    Saturday, May 16, 1998
    Duke-Wisconsin winner vs. Purdue-Michigan winner, 
    10 a.m. EST
    Notre Dame-Minnesota winner vs. Northwestern-Louisville winner, 1 p.m. EST
    Championship
    Sunday, May 17, 1998
    Semifinal winners, 1 p.m. EST