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    Wildcats Victorious in NCAA Regional Final

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Audra Cohen and the Wildcats will face Clemson in Athens.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Audra Cohen and the Wildcats will face Clemson in Athens.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    May 14, 2005

    Evanston, Ill. -- On a picture-perfect day for tennis, the fifth-seeded women's tennis team blanked Notre Dame, 4-0 in the NCAA Regional title tilt at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center. With the win, Northwestern improves to 26-2 on the season, and extends its 15-match winning streak, which is just one shy of the school record for consecutive wins. The Wildcats advance to the round of 16 to face Clemson.

    The day began on somewhat of an unfamiliar note, as the No. 2 doubles duo in the country, Audra Cohen (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) and Cristelle Grier (Epsom, England) dropped an 8-3 decision at the No. 1 slot. NU's No. 3 doubles team of Feriel Esseghir and Valerie Vladea (Tiffin, Iowa/Burlington Central) battled to win 8-4. Then it was up to the No. 2 duo of Alexis Prousis (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) and Kristi Roemer (Piedmont, Calif./Piedmont). With all eyes focused on the middle court, Prousis and Roemer fought Notre Dame's Brook Buck and Lauren Connelly to an 8-8 tiebreaker situation. The feisty Wildcat team clawed out the victory in the tiebreaker, 7-4 to give Northwestern the doubles point.

    "It was a great match, and that doubles point was huge," head coach Claire Pollard said. "Kristi Roemer really got some fire in her belly, and she just decided she wasn't going to lose that match."

     

     

    On the singles side, Northwestern dominated the Irish early, as Cohen (23-4) set the pace at No. 1, besting Catrina Thompson 6-0 in the first set before taking the match in straight sets with a 6-3 victory to push the team score to 2-0. The second finish for the Wildcats came at the No. 4 slot, as Valerie Vladea (23-3) downed Lauren Connelly, 6-3, 6-2. With storm clouds rolling into the Evanston area, Prousis (25-3) defeated Christian Thompson, 6-2, 6-4 to give Northwestern the 4-0 victory. The remaining three matches were abandoned.

    Northwestern is now 15-15 all-time in NCAA Tournament action, and has won five out of the last six regional championships. The Wildcats will play Clemson at noon on May 19 at the University of Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. The Tigers advanced past William & Mary, 4-0 to earn a ticket to Athens.

    Notre Dame vs Northwestern
    5/14/2005 at Evanston, Ill.
    #6 Northwestern University 4, #23 Notre Dame Women 0
    Singles competition:
    1. Audra Cohen (NU) def. Catrina Thompson (ND) 6-0, 6-3
    2. Cristelle Grier (NU) vs. Brook Buck (ND) 4-6, 6-2, abandoned
    3. Alexis Prousis (NU) def. Christian Thompson (ND) 6-2, 6-4
    4. Valerie Vladea (NU) def. Lauren Connelly (ND) 6-3, 6-2
    5. Andrea Yung (NU) vs. Kristina Stastny (ND) 6-4, 1-4, abandoned
    6. Jamie Peisel (NU) vs. Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) 1-6, 5-5, abandoned

    Doubles competition:
    1. Christian Thompson/Catrina Thompson (ND) def. Audra Cohen/Cristelle Grier (NU) 8-3
    2. Alexis Prousis/Kristi Roemer (NU) def. Brook Buck/Lauren Connelly (ND) 9-8 (4), 7-0
    3. Feriel Esseghir/Valerie Vladea (NU) def. Sarah Jane Connelly/Kristina Stastny (ND) 8-4

    Match Notes:
    Notre Dame Women 15-10; National ranking #23
    Northwestern University 26-2; National ranking #6