Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


Advertisement
Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.



Advertisement

Advertisement
The 23rd annual Chicago Pride Fest features JoJo Siwa, Sapphira Cristál and Bob the Drag Queen
Queering The Map shows queer love on campus
‘You know absolutely nothing’: Students frustrated with NU’s handling of academic integrity cases
NU’s Summer Class Schedule offers flexibility, opportunities for academic advancement
Community awards, advocacy headline Evanston’s fifth annual Juneteenth parade
Race Against Hate: Ricky Byrdsong’s Legacy
The Week Ahead, June 17-23: Juneteenth, Summer Solstice and Pride Celebrations in Chicagoland
Advertisement
Perry: A little humility goes a long way

Brew, Hou, Leung, Pandey: On being scared to tweet and the pressure to market yourself as a student journalist

June 4, 2024

Haner: A love letter to the multimedia room

June 4, 2024

Derrick Gragg appointed as Northwestern’s vice president for athletic strategy, search for new athletic director begins

Lacrosse: Northwestern’s Izzy Scane wins 2024 Honda Sport Award

June 13, 2024

Lacrosse: Northwestern’s Izzy Scane wins 2024 Tewaaraton Award

May 30, 2024

Advertisement

The secret (and short) lives of cicadas on campus

NU Declassified: Prof. Barbara Butts teaches leadership through stage management

Everything Evanston: Behind the boba in downtown Evanston

Regan: Making the Sweet 16 seem less sour

Up to this point, the Northwestern women’s tennis team’s results have just been window dressing. Yeah, they have a No. 1 ranking that helps in inter-sport banter with the lacrosse team – another top-ranked team. Yeah, they just advanced to the round of 16 for the sixth straight season. Yeah, they won the Big Ten for the 11th straight year and Maria Mosolova is the top player in the country.

Big freakin’ whoop.

Unlike the said lacrosse team, coach Claire Pollard’s bunch hasn’t won anything yet and have usually found the middle of May to be their kryptonite. Of those previous five trips to the Sweet Sixteen, only twice has it resulted in another match for the Cats.

Despite those previous failings, here’s to hoping this Friday will mark a change.

In college sports, it is very hard to pull off a Boston Celtics 2007-2008 season. A team doesn’t go from mediocre or terrible to off-the-chain great. It takes many steps.

That is how lacrosse, softball and even football have worked at this school – and how women’s tennis is working right now. First, it was conquering the Big Ten, and then individual NCAA accolades in doubles. Last year, the Cats grabbed the No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history.

Now the Cats have been the team to beat throughout the regular season. They have lost just one match to a good Duke team they might face in the finals of the NCAA tournament.

But the question is whether they will make those finals. NU has been here and underachieved before. Last year the top-ranked Cats were upset by California in the quarterfinals. The year before, they were sent home by Fresno State in the dreaded 5-12 upset matchup.

Of course that can’t happen this year, can it? The Cats have looked invincable during their Big Ten campaign, where the competition failed to beat a Cats player in eight-consecutive matches until a pesky Kentucky team beat junior Lauren Lui on Saturday.

One might say the key to the championship city in the Cats’ arsenal of weapons is the desire to avoid those past two disappointments.

Five players in the heart of NU’s lineup have tasted the bile of upset that does not deal with stomachs. Georgia Rose, Sam Murray, Lui, Keri Robison and Nazlie Ghazal have played through the good and bad over the past three years.

But as deep and good as the Cats have been this season, the key to a deep tournament run rests with Murray and No. 46 Mosolova.

Murray is 1-4-1 career in the round of 16 and beyond. Mosolova lost the deciding point in that match, but has improved both her game and profile since then, winning 10 of her past 11 matches.

While both have been hot of late, both have struggled against top competition again this season. The M girls have gone 8-8 collectively against top-60 talent in team matches this year and both fell in the team’s only loss to Duke.

Should the M girls continue their winning streaks starting this Friday against Fresno State, then NU will actually be the most dangerous team in the country. The R girls, Rose and Robison, can be counted to deliver in the clutch.

If not, then the team might not get to rack up all those Marriott points in College Station.

Assistant sports editor Brian Regan is a McCormick senior. He can be reached at [email protected].

More to Discover
Activate Search
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Regan: Making the Sweet 16 seem less sour