May 12, 2010
NCAA Championship First and Second Rounds
#6 Northwestern (21-6) vs. Miami (Ohio) (18-6)
Fri., May 14
Vandy Christie Outdoor Tennis Center
Evanston, Ill 1 p.m.
Northwestern (21-6) vs. Illinois (15-9) or Nebraska (21-5)
Sat., May 15
Vandy Christie Outdoor Tennis Center
Evanston, Ill Noon
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Head coach Claire Pollard's Northwestern teams have become staples in the NCAA Championship's round of 16, having advanced at least that far in nine of the last 10 seasons. A hungry group of Wildcats try to extend that streak this weekend in Evanston when they face Miami (Ohio) Friday for the right to meet either Illinois or Nebraska in the tournament's second round Saturday. Competition will take place both days at the Vandy Christie Outdoor Tennis Center, weather permitting.
Sixth-seeded Northwestern is one of 16 regional host sites around the country where four teams are vying for a trip to the University of Georgia for the tournament's round of 16.
The weekend officially gets underway at 10 a.m. Friday with the opening-round match between the Illini and Huskers, followed at an expected start time of 1 p.m. by Northwestern vs. Miami (Ohio). Live stats for all three matches are available by clicking the links at the top of the page. Complete results, recaps and quotes as well as the updated interactive NCAA Championship bracket will be available on NU's official regional Web site.
'Cats Against the Field
Admission to the matches each day will be $7 for adults, $4 for children under 18, college students with I.D. and senior citizens over 55. There will be light concessions available each day of the NCAA Regional Championship as well as t-shirts and other apparel available for purchase. In the event of inclement weather, the action will shift indoors to the Combe Tennis Center, located inside NU's Sports Pavilion and Aquatic Center (2311 Campus Drive). Fans are advised to utilize street parking off Sheridan Road for Friday's matches regardless of venue.
Northwestern may have experienced a spell of deja vu when the NCAA Championship brackets were announced, seeing its name once again paired with that of Miami (Ohio). The RedHawks came to Evanston last May as newcomers to the NCAA Championship but are making a repeat appearance in 2010 thanks to its second straight MAC crown and looking to improve on its 4-0 loss to top-ranked NU a year ago. Of Northwestern's potential second-round opponents, the Wildcats are far more familiar with one than the other. NU has already faced Illinois more times this season (two) than it has faced Nebraska all-time (one). Illinois, which features two recent Wildcat grads on its coaching staff in Georgia Rose
and Keri Robison
, gave Northwestern a test in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament on May 1 before eventual-champion NU prevailed 4-2.
Lui Wins Prestigious Position from ITA
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced Tuesday that NU senior Lauren Lui (Houston, Texas/Kinkaid) has been named the female winner of the 2010 Wilson/ITA National Promoter of the Year award, which recognizes individuals who promote the game of tennis at the collegiate level by devoting consistent time and effort to promotional activities and who support and bring awareness to either their school program or to the sport as a whole. Lui and University of Alabama-Huntsville's Daniel Canellas each were selected to receive a paid summer internship at Wilson's global headquarters in Chicago.
"Congratulations to Lauren, Daniel and all of our nominees," said David A Benjamin, Executive Director of the ITA. "Both Lauren and Daniel have been outstanding in their efforts to promote collegiate tennis, and this award will offer them a specialopportunity to experienceintern positions this summer with Wilson Sporting Goods, a leader in the tennis industry."
With its three victories at the Big Ten Tournament in Iowa City, Northwestern raised its season win total to 21, marking the seventh straight year NU has reached that plateau. In her 12 seasons in Evanston, Pollard's squads have reached 20 wins 10 times and won 19 matches the other two years. Before Pollard's arrival at Northwestern in the fall of 1998, the 'Cats had not topped 20 wins since the 1986-87 season.
Something to Prove
Despite its stellar performance in the NCAA Championship over the last decade, NU will not be taking anything for granted as three members of the Wildcats' singles lineup are making their debut in the national tournament. Sophomore Stacey Lee (No. 6) and freshmen Kate Turvy (No. 4) and Linda Abu Mushrefova (No. 5) will all play key roles in NU's ability to advance deep into the NCAA Championship. If their performances at the Big Ten Tournament are any indication, then the newcomers are ready for the challenge: the three combined to go 6-1 in completed singles matches. Turvy was the only Wildcat to finish and win all three of her matches on the weekend, improving to 15-11 in dual play this season.
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