While the lacrosse team was beating Louisville in the first round of its NCAA Tournament, a few other teams were at it in national competition. This weekend, the women’s tennis team played the first rounds of its NCAA tournament at home, while the women’s golf team traveled to Washington for the NCAA West Regional Tournament.
After a huge comeback victory over Michigan to secure its 16th straight Big Ten Title, the ‘Cats were upset by Notre Dame in the second round of the tournament. The Irish snapped Northwestern’s streak of ten consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 16. In the first round, the ‘Cats defeated Miami (Ohio) 4-0, but couldn’t hold off the Irish, who won 4-3. Despite the loss, senior Belinda Niu won her final match of her Northwestern career — her 100th career victory. She won in straight sets. Heading into next year, the Wildcats will lose three seniors — Veronica Corning, Nida Hamilton and Niu. The future is bright, however, for these young ‘Cats. Next year the team will only have one senior (Lok Sze Leung) and one junior (Alicia Barnett). The rest will be rising sophomores or freshmen.
The Northwestern women’s golf team returned to the Big Ten Championships this weekend, and walked away with its third top-three finish in the past four years. School record holder and three-time Big Ten Golfer of the Week Hana Lee continued her stellar season, finishing third overall. The ‘Cats played wild all season, finishing with eight top five finishes in 10 tournaments. The NCAA Women’s Golf Championship is next for the Wildcats, with regional selections announced Monday.
Northwestern started strong in the first round of the Big Ten Championships, which started Friday at the Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Ind. The Wildcats tied for first place at Big Ten’s last year, and continued to lead the pack this season, facing off against 72 golfers competing for the 12 teams in the Big Ten. The ‘Cats ended the first day fifth in the team standings with golfers Hana Lee and Suchaya Tangkamolprasert tied for fifth overall, scoring 75’s. None of the competitors in the field were under par in round one, only the leader was on par. The ‘Cats played their best on Sunday, maintaining their third place standing, carding a 9-over 297. They finished with a 905, just 10 strokes behind Ohio State and Michigan, who share the championship title.
In the arena of professional sports, four former Northwestern football players were signed by NFL teams following the draft this weekend. Former quarterback Kain Colter and defensive end Tyler Scott got calls from the Minnestoa Vikings. Colter even posted a picture to Instagram of him wearing a Vikings hat, saying "All I needed was an opportunity." Former kicker Jeff Budzien signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and wide receiver Rashad Lawrence went to the Washington Redskin. Former linebacker Damien Proby was the only Northwestern player who entered the draft who was not signed by any team.