As we head into the times of Big Ten Tournaments and Championships, it’s time to find out just how our ‘Cats are faring lately. Here's a look back at the past few days in Northwestern sports.
The Lady ‘Cats faced Michigan Thursday, dropping a hard-fought game 79-68 up in Ann Arbor. Late in the first half, the ‘Cats were down by 16 points, but they clawed their way back after halftime and tied the game at 44 with just over 11 minutes to play. Freshman Morgan Jones led the team with 25 points, 12 of which came on free throws – a testament to the guard’s aggressive style. Junior Dannielle Diamant notched 20 points, and the two led the rally that brought Northwestern back in the game. With the loss, the ‘Cats fall to 13-10 overall, 3-7 in the Big Ten.
The women completed the Northwestern Duals this weekend, winning all four Sunday duals up at SPAC. In order, the team bested UC San Diego, North Carolina, Duke and Cal Tech. Against UC San Diego, the epée and sabre teams recorded eight wins each, while against North Carolina the foil team won eight. Against Duke, both foil and epée stepped up with seven wins each and Northwestern swept Cal Tech 27-0 to close out the weekend. Many underclassmen were utilized in the victory over Cal Tech, allowing the veteran players to rest and prepare for this weekend’s duals, which will begin Saturday at 8 a.m. up at Patten Gymnasium.
Men’s tennis faced off against the Western Michigan Broncos Friday, winning the match to move to 5-0 on the season. The No. 3 pair of junior Sidarth Balaji and senior Tobias Reitz started off strong for No. 62 Northwestern, winning its match 8-2 for Northwestern’s first win of the day. In singles play, the ‘Cats won the first set on five of the six available courts. Still, Northwestern prevailed 5-2 and now looks ahead to Notre Dame Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, the women didn’t see the same success this weekend. They faced No. 3 Duke Saturday, losing a 6-0 decision to fall to 4-1 on the year. For doubles play, the No. 1 team of junior Linda Abu Mushrefova and sophomore Veronica Corning battled to a 7-7 tie before winning the last two games en route to the win. Still, No. 12 Northwestern couldn’t quite finish against Duke, so now the ‘Cats are preparing for the ITA National Indoor Team Championship, which kicks off Friday in Virginia.
The Northern Illinois Huskies came to Evanston Friday to face the No. 19 Northwestern Wildcats and left defeated as the ‘Cats pulled out the win, 24-18. The men won four of their first five bouts and held a 17-3 lead before the break, led by true freshman Jameson Oster at 133, sophomore Kaleb Friedley at 149 and junior Jason Welch at 157, who is ranked No. 2 in the nation for his weight class. The win pushed Northwestern’s record to 8-4 overall, 3-4 in the Big Ten, and now the ‘Cats look ahead to a weekend road trip; Saturday, they’ll travel first to North Carolina and then to Campbell for the final nonconference matches of the season.