Northwestern women’s tennis earned its biggest win of the season on Friday, defeating No. 7 Vanderbilt 4-2 in the Combe Tennis Center. Northwestern’s two doubles teams (Lipp/Larner are No. 2 in the nation, Chatt/Orr are No. 13) quickly earned the doubles point to give Northwestern a key early advantage. Vanderbilt’s Astra Sharma and Amanda Meyer fought back with routine straight sets wins to put the Commodores up 2-1, but Alex Chatt won her No. 4 singles match to level the contest at 2-2.
Northwestern then decisively went ahead when Julie Byrne sealed a win over Summer Dvorak (7-6 [7-3], 6-2). Erin Larner then defeated NCAA No. 5 Fernanda Contreras 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 in an emotional upset, giving Northwestern a 4-2 win.
The win over Vanderbilt was Northwestern’s third straight win and second win in a row against a top 25 team. After a rough stretch in which Northwestern lost 4-3 to UCLA and Oregon and 4-2 to Texas, the Wildcats have rebounded nicely in the indoor season. The Maddie Lipp/Erin Larner doubles pairing is definitely in the hunt for an NCAA title, and Northwestern’s singles players are always dangerous against anyone, even someone of Contreras’ caliber.
Northwestern’s next match will be at Illinois on March 2nd.
Unfortunately, our last update seemed to curse Northwestern wrestling a little bit. Northwestern lost a close meet to Rutgers 13-22 and then got walloped by No. 7 Iowa 33-2. Ryan Deakin’s long win streak was snapped by national No. 2  Brandon Sorensen and Northwestern was left at 2-4 since Big Ten play started.
But Northwestern recovered nicely. The Wildcats went to No. 22 Purdue and earned a hard-fought 24-16 win, with Deakin and Sebastian Rivera returning to form. Conan Jennings  took a big upset win over No. 15 Shawn Streck.
Northwestern closed out the regular season with wins over Indiana and SIU-Edwardsville. The Wildcats will end the regular season ranked No. 17 in the nation, which is an astonishing accomplishment for Matt Storniolo’s squad. The Wildcats have gone from zero Big Ten wins in 2016 to four in 2018. This has been a wildly impressive rebuild for Northwestern wrestling.
The Big Ten Tournament starts on March 3rd in East Lansing. Northwestern will have plenty to be proud of no matter what happens though.
Swimming and Diving
Olivia Rosendahl, Northwestern’s resident National Champion in diving, won a Big Ten title in the three-meter springboard and was the runner-up in the platform dive. Rosendahl won Co-Big Ten Diver of the Championships and All-Big Ten honors. Senior Mary Warren finished 15th in the 100 freestyle in the final race of her career and Calypso Sheridan (GOAT name!) swam a school record 2:08.80 in the 200m breaststroke.
Northwestern finished seventh overall at Big Ten Championships. The NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships begin on March 14. Rosendahl will hope to back up her title from last season.
The men’s tennis squad took on Vanderbilt on Friday and lost a tight 4-3 contest. After dominating IUPUI, Northwestern nearly managed another win at home The team has struggled of late after the graduation of Strong Kirchheimer and Konrad Zieba, but the match against Vanderbilt was their best performance against a major conference team in recent weeks. Dominik Stary upset No. 52 Daniel Valent but Northwestern could not overcome losses in No. 5 and No. 6 singles.
Cross Country (but also indoor track)
Ah, did you think you’d escape a Tristan Jung non-revenue update without distance running news? Right now it’s indoor track season, but two runners ran a cross-country race in El Salvador, hence the heading. Technically, Northwestern doesn’t have a track and field team, so I’m being politically correct here.
Andrea Ostenso won the 3K with a solid 9:49.08 at the Alex Wilson Invite at Notre Dame. Sara Coffey broke the 5-minute barrier for the first time with a stellar 4:56.04.
The week before, Aubrey Roberts ran a blistering 16:32.75 5K in a stacked field at the Husky Open in Washington. If you take out the 13 unattached or club runners, including former NCAA Champion Emily Infeld, Roberts finished 16th.
Mandy Davis and Hannah Tobin both raced 6Ks in San Salvador, El Salvador after qualifying for the 2018 NACAC Championships. Both women placed in the top 10 at the Junior Championships in Florida and backed it up with top-25 placings in the NACAC Championships in El Salvador.