May 9, 2013
2013 NCAA Tournament Bracket (PDF)
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern hosts the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament for the 14th-consecutive season as it welcomes UIC, Baylor and San Diego State to Evanston on Friday and Saturday.
Action gets underway at 11 a.m. Friday as Baylor takes on San Diego State. The Wildcats and the Flames will square off at 2 p.m. Friday's winners meet at noon Saturday for the right to advance to the round of 16 in Urbana, Ill., May 17. Friday's matches will be played indoors at Combe Tennis Center.
Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for patrons 18-and-under, college students and senior citizens over 55. Northwestern head coach Claire Pollard has generously offered to cover the cost for all current NU students who wish to attend.
Northwestern (18-8) enters play on the heels of winning a Big Ten title for the 15th straight season when they won the conference tournament crown April 26-28 in Bloomington, Ind. The Wildcats took down No. 38 Indiana, No. 16 Nebraska and No. 6 Michigan en route to their 14th tournament title in 15 years.
NU enters the NCAA tourney at No. 11 in the most recent ITA team rankings. Senior Kate Turvy, who recently earned her third-consecutive first-team All-Big Ten selection, is No. 57 in the singles rankings and will compete for an NCAA individual championship following the team competition. Dating back to March 27, Turvy has won nine of her last 10 matches, defeating six ranked opponents along the way.
In addition to Turvy, junior Belinda Niu also earned her third-straight first-team All-Big Ten selection, while junior Veronica Corning was honored as a second-team choice. Senior Linda Abu Mushrefova has been on a roll in singles action, going a perfect 14-0 against Big Ten opponents this season. She has won 11 straight matches and 15 of her last 16.
Mushrefova and junior Nida Hamilton, who were selected to competed in the NCAA doubles tournament, are ranked No. 14 nationally. They aren't the hottest NU duo, though. That distinction belongs to Corning and freshman Alicia Barnett who have won 11 straight matches going back to March 24.
Similar to Northwestern, UIC (16-5) has dominated conference play. The Flames recently won their 17th-consecutive conference title, going 8-1 during the Horizon League regular season before topping Youngstown State 4-3 in the conference tournament championship match. Senior Haley Craig and junior Mariana Palacios were both named to the All-Horizon League first team.
Baylor (16-14) is No. 20 in the most recent ITA team rankings. The Bears won the Big 12 regular season title, posting an 8-1 record, before falling 4-3 to Oklahoma State in their conference tournament championship match. In singles, sophomore Ema Burgic, the Big 12 Player of the Year, is ranked No. 10 nationally. Junior Jordan Sanford was also named to the All-Big 12 Singles Team, while the fourth-ranked doubles team of Burgic and Victoria Kisialeva was selected to the All-Big 12 Doubles Team. Baylor was 4-10 at one point this season before going 12-4 down the stretch.
San Diego State (22-5) is making its 22nd NCAA tournament appearance and is ranked No. 43. The Aztecs won 15 straight matches before falling 4-1 to UNLV in the Mountain West tournament championship match. Seniors Julia Wais and Alicia Aguilar both earned All-Mountain West honors in singles after the team went 8-0 during its conference regular season.
Northwestern has already faced Baylor this season, notching a 4-1 win over the Bears Feb. 24 in Evanston. The Wildcats are 6-0 all-time against UIC, 4-3 vs. Baylor and 4-8 against San Diego State.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!