April 25, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern puts its streak of 14 straight years with a Big Ten title on the line this weekend as it travels to Bloomington, Ind., for the Big Ten tournament.
Every year since 1999, NU has either won the Big Ten regular season and/or tournament title. The Wildcats enter this year's tourney as the No. 3 seed. Following an opening-round bye, Northwestern opens play on Friday in the quarterfinal round against the winner of Thursday's match between sixth-seeded Indiana and 11th-seeded Wisconsin. Friday's match is slated to get underway at 1 p.m. Central time.
Should the 'Cats advance, they would play in Saturday's semifinal round at 1 p.m., while Sunday's championship match is set for 11 a.m.
The Wildcats' path to a tournament title could allow them the opportunity to avenge each of their two conference regular-season losses. NU could take on second-seeded Nebraska in the semifinal round, while top-seeded Michigan could be the Wildcats' opponent in the championship match should both advance that far. Both of the losses were by a slim 4-3 margin that went down to the final singles match in play.
Northwestern (15-8, 9-2 Big Ten) enters the weekend on a roll, having won seven of its last eight matches after enduring a three-match losing streak in March. Last weekend, the 'Cats posted a 6-1 win at No. 27 Purdue on Friday before taking down No. 34 Indiana by the same score at home on Sunday.
Senior Linda Abu Mushrefova was named the Big Ten Player of the Week after winning both of her singles and doubles matches. She became the only player in the conference to go 11-0 in Big Ten singles play this season.
The Wildcats are No. 15 in this week's ITA team rankings. The doubles team of Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton is ranked No. 14, while Kate Turvy is No. 51 and Veronica Corning is No. 123 in singles.
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