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Northwestern All-Sports Wrapup: March 12

by Jonah Rosenblum (@jonahlrosenblum)

Welcome to our first ever comprehensive wrap-up of Northwestern sports. While Welsh-Ryan Arena has seen more than its share of disappointment of late, baseball competed well against a tough foe in Missouri State, men’s tennis excelled behind Chris Jackman’s impressive play at the No. 6 spot and lacrosse had a surprisingly tough time getting past Navy. Check out how all of your Wildcats teams did, and who made the cut in our inaugural Inside NU Players of the Week.

Sports

Last Week

Upcoming

Inside NU Player of the Week

Summary

Baseball

O: 4-5

C: 0-0

1-2, 5-7, 2-3 at Missouri State RussMatt Central Florida Invitational (LIU Brooklyn, North Dakota State, Bucknell) Zach Morton had a sensational Friday with three hits at the plate and 7.2 scoreless innings on the mound. Probably the best news all weekend is that Kyle Ruchim successfully came back from a separated shoulder with a three-hit performance Saturday. Though Northwestern was swept by Missouri State, the Wildcats competed well, losing all three games by a combined four runs. This against a Bears team ranked No. 31 before the season’s start by Collegiate Baseball.
Softball

O: 14-10

C: 0-0

4-0 (St. Joseph’s),

5-0 (BU), 3-1 (South Carolina),

8-0 (Mass.), 1-2 (Loyola Marymount)

3/22-3/24 at Nebraska Amy Letourneau made doctors wince with her 196-pitch, 14-strikeout complete game effort in a 2-1 win over South Carolina. The Wildcats made it to the finale of the Under Armour Showcase bolstered by three shutouts. They should roll into Big Ten play with momentum.
Men’s Tennis

O: 16-4

C: 2-1

5-2 (No. 33 Nebraska), 7-0 (Iowa), 6-0 (Western Illinois) 3/30 at No. 58 Minnesota, 3/31 at No. 62 Wisconsin Though Sidarth Balaji has had a dazzling season, Chris Jackman gets the nod with three straight-set victories from the Nos. 5 and 6 spots this past weekend. He is now 7-0 from the No. 6 spot. This might be the hottest team in Evanston right now as the Wildcats have won eight of their last nine. They could certainly push their conference record to 4-1 against two teams they beat last season.
Women’s Tennis

O: 8-5

C: 2-1

5-2 (at Iowa), 3-4 (at No. 10 Nebraska) 3/24 vs. No. 1 North Carolina, 3/27 at No. 25 Georgia Tech Belinda Niu teamed up with Kate Turvy to notch a dominant 8-0 doubles victory against Nebraska and then won a tight two-setter against Patricia Veresova. Niu is now 7-3 at the No. 3 singles spot, but the Wildcats have yet to find another consistent winner as they’ve struggled through the early part of their schedule.
Men’s BKB

O: 13-18

C: 4-14

59-66 vs. Penn State, 61-71 at No. 10 Michigan State 3/14 vs. Iowa (Big Ten Tournament) You always want to see a senior close on a high and Alex Marcotullio did just that, scoring a career-high 22 in his final home game. He hit 9-of-17 from behind the arc this past week, with only one shot coming from inside the 3-point line. Northwestern has remained competitive to the end, rallying to tie Michigan State on the road at 51, but a 12-2 run put the Wildcats away. Still, this team continues to defy expectations at times. They were 18-point underdogs in East Lansing.
Women’s BKB

O: 14-16

C: 5-11

55-60 vs. Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament Season Over Kendall Hackney capped off a spectacular career at Northwestern with a team-best 13 points and four steals, to go along with six rebounds. Hackney didn’t miss a minute, literally, playing all 40 in her Northwestern finale. Northwestern didn’t get as many wins as it wanted, but it has to be excited about the future. Kendall Hackney and Danielle Diamant depart, taking away much of the Wildcats’ advantage down low, but Karly Roser will reunite with Big Ten Freshman of the Year Maggie Lyon in 2013-2014.
Women’s Lacrosse

O: 6-1

C: 2-0

18-8 (at No. 12 Johns Hopkins), 15-12 (at No. 20 Navy) 3/16 vs. Harvard, 3/27 vs. Ohio State We all knew Erin Fitzgerald was going to have to step up in Shannon Smith’s absence. How does five goals in three consecutive contests sound to you? After she was held scoreless in the first 18:53 against Navy, she scored five times in the final 41:07. Erin Fitzgerald and Christina Esposito have provided plenty of goals for the Wildcats. Alyssa Leonard has dominated the draw for Northwestern, even in its one loss of the season, yet the Wildcats have had a tough go of it thus far. Relatively speaking, of course.
Wrestling 8th at Big Ten Championships 3/21-3/23 NCAA Championships After floating around the top of the Big Ten for oh so long, Jason Welch finally finished first at this year’s Big Ten Championships. He had previously placed second twice and third once. He now boasts a 30-1 record, and he was able to avenge his only loss of the season in the title match, defeating James Green with a third-round pin. It’s funny. For all of the attention centered on Welch, it wasn’t a great day for many of his teammates. The Wildcats finished eighth in the overall tournament. Still, they had six automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Championships and Lee Munster seems to have a solid shot with his 24-7 record and No. 9 ranking in the coaches’ poll.
Fencing NCAA Midwest Regional 3/21-3/24 NCAA Championship Chloe Grainger recorded a career-high 13 bouts at the NCAA Regional against just two defeats, placing third in the sabre competition. For a sabre squad that has struggled at times, with a team-worst .665 winning percentage this season, Grainger’s .779 winning percentage has been most welcome. Eight Wildcats finished in the top ten at the NCAA Midwest Regional, giving the Wildcats a solid shot at sending six fencers to the NCAA Championship. Courtney Dumas and Dina Bazarbayeva have both won greater than three-fourths of their bouts this season, placing sixth and eighth in the NCAA Midwest Regional.
Men’s Golf Fresno State Lexus Golf Classic (4th/17) 3/28-3/30 (U.S. Intercollegiate) Andrew Whalen figured out a way to close strong at the Fresno State Lexus Golf Classic, climbing from 25th place to 12th place in the final round behind three consecutive birdies on the 15th through 17th holes. A rough first round killed the Wildcats as they fell 19 strokes behind No. 1 California and 11 strokes behind No. 44 Brigham Young. In the final two rounds, however, the Wildcats golfed better than any team – except for the top-ranked Golden Bears.
Women’s Golf Clover Cup (6th/16) 3/29 vs. San Diego State Hana Lee set a powerful pace early at the 2013 Clover Cup with a six-under-66 to vault to the top of the leader board. She dipped a bit toward the end, tying for fifth place, after posting a four-over-76 in the final round. Still, it marked her fourth top-10 finish of the season. Much like Lee, Northwestern slipped from second place after the opening round to third place after the second round to sixth place to round out the Clover Cup. New Trier alumnus Elizabeth Szokol acquitted herself well with an even-par first round en route to a 24th-place finish.

If you see any mistakes, don’t hesitate to contact me at jonahlrosenblum@gmail.com.