Northwestern Postseason Notes in PDF Format
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Nov. 28, 2005
EVANSTON, Ill. -- When Northwestern head coach Keylor Chan took over a team that had won just four matches in 1999 and had not been to the NCAA Tournament since making four-straight appearances from 1981-84, building a consistent postseason team seemed to be a tall order.
For the third time in the past four seasons, the Wildcats are part of the NCAA Tournament field. Northwestern opens the 2005 edition of the Big Dance at 4 p.m. CT Thursday, Dec. 1, against Texas A&M in South Bend, Ind. Host and No. 6 seed Notre Dame plays Atlantic 10 champ Dayton in the sub-regional's other first-round matchup.
The Aggies (16-13, 9-11 Big 12) finished sixth in the Big 12 and seem to be the Wildcats' mirror image in this season's NCAA field.
A&M went 7-2 in its final nine matches of the season to turn a losing record on its head and reach NCAA Tournament eligibility.
Northwestern finished its year with a 7-1 stretch over its final eight matches to also finish sixth in its conference.
Overall, the Wildcats' 19-11 record gives them their best win total since 1988 (20-14) and their best winning percentage (.633) since the 1987 squad finished 23-10 (.697).
Even more special for Chan, the sixth-year NU head coach enters the Tournament just one win shy of the 100th of his career.
Sophomore Lindsay Anderson (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) is averaging 3.69 kills per game, the seventh-best total in NU single-season history. Freshman Chelsy Hyser (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere) and junior Cassie McLaughlin (Cary, Ill./Cary Grove) are hitting .306 and .305, respectively, which puts them in the top-5 of the Wildcats' single-season annals.
Sophomore Brittney Aldridge's (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) 117 block assists tie her for seventh on NU's single-season list while senior Christie Gardner (West Bend, Wis./West Bend East) continues to extend her NU single-season and career records with every dig she makes.