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The "other" sports: Weekend roundup

I fell behind on these updates after our winter teams went on their holiday breaks, but now that the spring sports are swinging into action, it's time to get back on track. wcgrad already recapped the lacrosse team's preseason scrimmage against Team USA below. The regular season starts next Friday, so look for my full preview sometime next week.

In the meantime, let's get to the rest of the non-basketball sports in NU-land.

Wrestling: The Wildcats, ranked No. 18, got a split in this weekend's action, losing at No. 8 Illinois on Friday, 26-10, and beating Purdue on the road, 21-18. Overall, NU is 7-4 on the season, 3-4 in Big Ten dual meets.

Against Illinois, Levi Mele, ranked No. 9 at 125 pounds, beat No. 5 Jesse Delgado, and Jason Welch, No. 2-ranked at 157 pounds, improved his record to 16-0. Against Purdue, Welch improved to 17-0 with a pin of his opponent in 1:16, while Lee Munster, ranked No. 13 at 174 pounds, pinned his opponent in 13 seconds, the fastest fall this season by a Wildcat.

The Wildcats will take the next couple of weeks off from Big Ten action, hosting Northern Illinois on Friday.

Fencing: NU traveled to Notre Dame this weekend and did well on the surface, winning 8 of 9 duals. The one loss, however, came to arch-nemesis Notre Dame. This was the Wildcats' second loss this season to the Fighting Irish, and NU previously lost to Ohio State. OSU, Notre Dame and NU are the Big Three, as far as the Midwest Fencing Conference goes. Everybody else in the conference, which includes the likes of Wayne State, Cleveland State and Detroit Mercy, is just a minnow playing in their pond.

So, while the Wildcats' 22-5 record looks pretty impressive on the surface, those three losses to OSU and Notre Dame stand out. NU will get a chance to redeem itself this weekend at the Northwestern Duals at SPAC. Among the teams NU will play is Temple, which also defeated the Wildcats earlier this year, 14-13, and perennial powers Princeton and Duke.

Men's & Women's Swimming: The Wildcats competed in their final dual meets of the year this past weekend, with the men sweeping No. 25 Missouri and Denver, and the women beating Denver but losing to No. 18 Missou. The men finished the season with a 7-3 dual meet record, while the women finished 9-4. The men's meet against Missou had a real dramatic finish, with the win coming down to the final event, the 400 free relay, which the Wildcats won by the barest one-hundredths of a second margin.

The teams are off from competition the next few weeks until the Big Ten Championships at Iowa. The women go Feb. 15-18, and the men go Feb. 22-25.

Women's Tennis: The No. 12 Wildcats qualified for the ITA National Indoor Team Championships with a 4-3 comeback win on Sunday over No. 39 Nebraska. The Huskers won the doubles point, but NU's Kate Turvey, Brittany Wowchuk, Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton won their singles matches to give the Wildcats the victory.

The ITA National Indoor Team Championships will take place Feb. 10-13, but first, NU will head on the road next weekend for a dual against No. 8 UNC on Friday and No. 3 Duke on Saturday.

Men's Tennis: The Wildcats had the weekend off but are 4-0 on the season so far, the most recent win coming against William & Mary on Jan. 22. They'll host Western Michigan on Saturday.

Softball, baseball and men's and women's golf have yet to start their seasons.