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Northwestern non-revenue sports update: Fencing, women’s tennis and softball

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Northwestern has two eight-game win streaks simultaneously!

NUSports.com

Softball

Northwestern softball doesn’t know how to lose. Northwestern has won eight straight games dating back to March 4th. It started with a shutout win over No. 4 Alabama and just keeps going. Northwestern swept a double-header against UIC and Indiana on March 17 and won by a combined score of 14-5. At 17-8, Northwestern softball doesn’t have the strength of schedule to be in the top 25 yet, but its coming close.

The star of the show has been first-year Rachel Lewis, who has 6 homers, 29 RBIS and is hitting .329/.462/.685 on the year. The top end of Northwestern’s pitching staff has also been lights-out. Morgan Newport has a 2.25 ERA over 56 innings pitched and four complete games. Kenna Wilkey is 7-3 with a 2.88 ERA with 9 starts and another 7 relief appearances.

Women’s tennis

Women’s tennis is on an eight-game win streak of its own. The Wildcats took down Indiana 6-1 at the Combe Tennis Center last weekend to complete one of the most successful stretches in program history. Northwestern does not play until a trip to Baylor on March 27, leaving the Wildcats 11-3 on the season thus far.

Lacrosse

Northwestern traveled to No. 4 North Carolina and lost 18-13. Northwestern actually led 8-7 at halftime, but UNC just blasted Northwestern off the field in the last 20 minutes of the game. Suddenly it went from 11-11 to 18-13 and that was that. Northwestern will need to rebound quickly when it faces Michigan on Friday at Martin Stadium.

Fencing

Look folks, Northwestern is a fencing school now.

Let’s start with the most recent news. Northwestern qualified four fencers for the NCAA Championships at the NCAA Midwest Regional on Saturday. Emine Yücel, Yvonne Chart, Sarah Filby and Pauline Hamilton all received auto bids for the NCAA Championships. Yücel won the sabre regional outright, the first outright Northwestern winner since 2012.

Because we haven’t kept up with fencing much this year, we can go back from the beginning. The Northwestern women’s fencing team started the season with a decent showing at the Elite Invitational in November, defeating Ohio State and Cornell. The team then went undefeated at the Vassar Invitational in Poughkeepsie, winning all eight duals and improving to 11-3 on the season. Northwestern fencers competed in the North American Cup in December and January before NCAA team play picked up again.

Northwestern then went to the Western Invitational and swept all eight dual matches again! Then it went to Philadelphia and won another eight straight dual matches, including a pair of 16-11 wins over No. 9 Penn and No. 7 Temple (that’s 26 duals in a row, for those counting). Northwestern fencing finally dropped a match to No. 2 Columbia in the penultimate dual match, but a 14-13 win over Yale capped an excellent showing in Philly.

DeCicco Duals in late January: 10-1, only loss was to No. 1 Notre Dame

NU Duals in February: 8-4, dropped matches to Notre Dame, Temple, Duke and Ohio State, but beat Princeton.

Northwestern would get revenge for that loss at home to Ohio State in the Midwest Fencing Championships at the end of the month. With the team ranked No. 9 in the country heading into the Championships, the Wildcats went to Columbus and quickly secured a rematch with No. 4 Ohio State in the finals. Northwestern won the sabre and foil competitions in two thrilling contests.

Now after qualifying four individuals for the NCAA Championships, things are still going well. Northwestern fencing, it’s great!