As the former sports editor of a campus publication during spring quarter, I'm pretty attuned to the spring sports news cycle at Northwestern. It ain't much of a cycle, man. It is punctuated by two things: Northwestern women's lacrosse winning, like, a lot of games, and Northwestern women's tennis winning a Big Ten title.
Both of those things happened Sunday. It was senior day for the laxers, who are still recovering from a 22-4 loss to Florida, but pounded No. 16 Penn in their last game before this week's ALC Tournament. And, yes, the women's tennis team won. For the 14th time in 15 years, they earned a Big Ten title. But they were joined by a surprise guest, the women's golf team, that also took home a Big Ten title.
For tennis, it's a ho-hum thing, I guess. Claire Pollard really runs an impressive program and doesn't get a whole bunch of credit for it. But we shouldn't go and act like Northwestern's win was a foregone conclusion: they lost in the semifinals of last year's Big Ten Tournament, their first time failing to win since 1998, and had already lost to Michigan, their opponent in the finals, when they had met in the regular season. No problem, though: Northwestern won doubles, then Kate Turvy, Nida Hamilton, and Linda Abu Mushrefova won their singles matches to give NU a 4-1 win.
Next up for Northwestern is the NCAA Tournament. The Cats are seeded 14th, and have never won an NCAA Tournament - here's to a nice run for them this year.
Women's golf, on the other hand, it was the opposite of whatever a ho-hum thing is. NU's clubbin' ladies had never won a Big Ten tournament, and hadn't won a tournament all season long. But playing in French Lick, hometown of Larry Bird and the character in "Blue Chips" who is basically Mitch McGary, the Wildcats got out to a 6-stroke lead and held on, barely, as Purdue tied them on the last round of play. Co-champs, y'all! Northwestern didn't have any of the top five golfers, but Hana Lee's 4-under was the low round of the tournament, and Kaitlin Park, Devon Brown, and Elizabeth Szokol finished in sixth, seventh, and ninth, respectively, a team effort.
Next up for golf is an NCAA Regional tournament, and if they do well enough at that, they go to nationals.
We look forward to Northwestern's continued female dominance in sports played by Mario. (We're still eagerly awaiting updates from Northwestern's female go-kart racing team, although sources indicate that a husky, mustachioed Italian man who would prefer to remain anonymous is "a-gonna win".)