Women’s Tennis: Northwestern secures 26th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, opens in Athens Regional


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

Senior Clarissa Hand and sophomore Maria Shusharina high-five. Northwestern will make its 26th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, opening against Wake Forest in the first round of the Athens Regional.

Alex Cervantes, Assistant Sports Editor

Women’s Tennis

Following a Big Ten Tournament semifinals appearance, Northwestern has clinched its 26th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

The Wildcats (14-9, 8-3 Big Ten) will face Wake Forest in the first round of the Athens Regional at 9 a.m. on Saturday. No. 14 Georgia, the regional host, and Charleston Southern will play in the other first round matchup. The winners will meet on Sunday for a super-regional berth.

NU and the Demon Deacons will meet for a round two matchup this weekend. The pair of squads met at ITA Kickoff Weekend on Jan. 29, with Wake Forest grabbing a 4-2 win in the early moments of the regular season.

All-Big Ten members senior Clarissa Hand and sophomore Maria Shusharina were the only two Cats to grab victories in singles play. Hand remains No. 1 on the card for coach Claire Pollard’s squad, as Shusharina has climbed one spot from No. 3 to No. 2 since the match against the Demon Deacons.

Hand remains NU’s lone ranked singles player in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll.

Wake Forest enters the contest ranked 23rd nationally after winning four of their last five matches. Carolyn Campana (No. 32) and Casie Wooten (No. 111) are the two ranked singles players for the Demon Deacons. Coach Jeff Wyshner’s side also boasts two of the Top 30 doubles pairings in Anna Brylin and Brooke Killingsworth (No. 5) and Wooten and Samantha Martinelli (No. 27).

The weekend clash will also be the fifth all-time meeting between the Cats and Wake Forest with the winner keeping its season alive and claiming a series lead.

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