It wasn't all ejections and subpar rebounding this weekend. Besides men's basketball, nine (9!) other NU teams were in action this weekend. Lacrosse started its season with a bang, women's basketball's continued its slide (but snagged a top-100 recruit!), men's golf served notice to the Big Ten, fencing dominated its little sisters in the Big Ten, and then there was softball, men's and women's tennis and wrestling, too.
Bit first, a DVR alert. NU lacrosse coach Kelly Amonte Hiller will be profiled on BTN's Big Ten Coaching Icons on Saturday, at 8:30 p.m. CT. The show will chronicle how she took NU from club program to national powerhouse, and take a closer look at how her aggressive, swarming defense has revolutionized the game.
On to the recaps...
Lacrosse: The top-ranked Wildcats shrugged off the No. 6 Stanford Cardinal, exploding for 11 second-half goals in an 18-6 win in Palo Alto. Shannon Smith and Erin Fitzgerald each had hat tricks to lead a balanced attack that saw 11 Wildcats score. NU dominated possession, with a 20-6 advantage on draw controls, and the Wildcats' depth appeared to wear Stanford down. Breezy LoManto finished with 4 saves to earn the win.
The Wildcats next travel to Durham, N.C., on Sunday to face the No. 5 Duke Blue Devils.
Women's basketball: First the good news. NU got a verbal commitment from class of 2013 point guard Christen Inman. The four-star Inman is 5'9" and ranked by ESPN as the No. 14 point guard in her class. She becomes the first class of 2013 recruit to sign with the Wildcats, and chose NU over Stanford, Vanderbilt, Rice and Texas.
Meanwhile, on the court the injury-depleted Wildcats were unable to contain No. 18 Penn State on Sunday, losing their sixth in their last seven games, 77-63, at home. NU drops to 13-12 overall, 3-9 in the Big Ten, and now looks to stay above .500 to remain eligible for the NIT. NU had to play without Danielle Diamant, who suffered a concussion in the ‘Cats' previous game, and about midway through the second half, Karly Roser came down with an injury and did not return. Allison Mocchi also had her minutes limited by injury.
The Nittany Lions were pretty much in control of this one from the start, with NU never getting closer than 11 in the second half. Morgan Jones led the Wildcats with 20 points and 7 boards, while Kendall Hackney had 15 points and 7 boards. Hackney also recorded the 500th rebound of her NU career. NU will travel to Nebraska on Thursday to take on the ‘Huskers.
Men's golf: The Wildcats captured the Big Ten Match Play championship for the third straight year, beating Minnesota on Saturday. NU, the No. 7 seed in the tournament, beat No. 10 seed Penn State and No. 2 seed Iowa on Friday, then dispatched No. 6 seed Ohio State on Saturday, before bringing home the bacon with the win over No. 8 seed Minnesota. The Wildcats next travel to the Rice Intercollegiate in Houston this weekend.
Women's golf: NU is currently playing in the Lady Puerto Rico tournament in, you guessed it, Puerto Rico. After Sunday's first round, NU sits in 10th place.
Softball: The Wildcats had a mixed bag in their opening weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., beating Texas Tech and No. 17 Texas A&M, while losing to No. 1 Arizona, No. 12 Washington and New Mexico. Junior Adrienne Monka cranked three home runs on the weekend, including the 44th of her career on Sunday, which moves her into a tie for fourth all-time at NU. Freshman starter Amy Latourneau notched both wins for the Wildcats, getting her career off to a promising start.
The Wildcats next head down to Louisiana for the Mardi Gras Invitational, where they'll face Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech, UTEP, North Carolina and Northwestern State.
Wrestling: NU wrapped up its nonconference schedule with two wins over North Carolina and Campbell on Saturday. The wins improve the Wildcats to 10-4 overall, 3-4 in the Big Ten. They'll wrap up conference play this weekend by hosting Indiana. Levi Mele (125 pounds), Jason Welch (157), Pierce Harger (165), Lee Munster (174) and Mike McMullan (heavyweight) each went 2-0 in their bouts on Saturday.
Fencing: The Wildcats gave their bench a chance to shine, easily dispatching eight over-matched opponents on Saturday at home. NU beat Indiana, Chicago, Purdue, Iowa, Lawrence, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. All of those teams, except for Lawrence, are club programs, so, not to diminish the accomplishments, but in the grand scheme of things, the wins don't make much of an impact on NU's national title credentials. At any rate, NU improves to 37-7 on the season. Several fencers will travel to Salt Lake City this weekend for the USFA Junior National Olympics.
Women's tennis: The Wildcats competed in the ITA National Indoor Team Championships this weekend, beating No. 9 Virginia, 4-2, but losing to No. 4 UCLA, 4-0, and then No. 17 Tennessee, 4-3. NU's record is 5-3. They'll take this weekend off from competition before hosting Georgia Tech next Friday.
Men's tennis: NU beat Middle Tennessee State on Friday, 6-1, but got edged by Vanderbilt on Sunday, 4-3. The Wildcats are 6-2 on the season. They'll host New Mexico on Friday.