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    'Cats Ready for Big Ten Competition, Host Michigan and Michigan State This Weekend

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Sophomore Alexis Prousis is one of four 'Cats already with at least 20 wins this year.
    Sophomore Alexis Prousis is one of four 'Cats already with at least 20 wins this year.

    March 24, 2005

    EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern resumes Big Ten competition this Friday and Saturday, March 26 and 27, when Michigan and Michigan State come to town. It will be the first conference action for the Wildcats, since downing the Badgers 5-2 in Madison, Wis. on Feb. 13. Both matches are slated to begin at 11 a.m.

    History will be on Northwestern's side this weekend, as the `Cats hold a 35-8 all-time record against the Wolverines and a near-perfect 28-1 mark against the Spartans. NU is also undefeated at home this year.

    Despite a daunting schedule that has featured four top-25 teams, Michigan currently has a 6-6 overall record. More importantly, they have been on a tear as of late. Winners of their last three by a score of 6-1, the Wolverines most recently dismantled the Spartans March 23 in both schools' conference-opener.

    Their No. 1 player, Michelle DaCosta, ranks 50th in the nation and teams with Kara Delicata to form the 13th-ranked doubles tandem.

    Michigan State comes to Evanston with an impressive 10-3 record. After dropping their first two matches of the season, the Spartans rallied to win 10 straight before falling to Michigan this past Wednesday.

    Northwestern will look to rebound from their 4-2 loss to No. 24 California Wednesday -- the Wildcats' first defeat since Georgia knocked them into the consolation bracket of the National Team Indoor Championship back on Feb. 3.

    Junior Cristelle Grier (Epsom, England/Putney) and sophomore Alexis Prousis (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) were the only `Cats to post wins against the Golden Bears, and each has won her last four singles matches.

    This weekend's competition marks the first of six-straight Big Ten matches, before the `Cats venture outside the conference to face Notre Dame April 14.

    Nationally Ranked `Cats as of March 22, 2005

    No. 3 Audra Cohen
    No. 13 Cristelle Grier
    No. 64 Alexis Prousis

    No. 1 Cohen and Grier
    T-No. 29 Kristi Roemer and Prousis

    Team Ranking
    Northwestern's No. 2 ranking is the highest in school history

    Perfect Matches... Doubles

    Northwestern has swept the doubles point four times this season: vs. DePaul (1/19), at Texas A&M (1/29), at Kentucky (1/30) and at Wisconsin (2/13).

    Perfect Matches... Singles
    Northwestern has swept all six singles matches twice this season: vs. DePaul (1/19) and against New Mexico (2/4) at the ITA National Indoor Team Championship.

    Chasing Recent History
    Cohen recorded her 33rd victory of the season Sunday, March 27, against Texas, putting her only seven shy of tying Grier's single-season school record of 40 set in 2004. Cohen has only dropped eight sets in 37 total matches.