This Week in the Big Ten

Michigan's Ronni Bernstein was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in women's tennis this past week.

April 29, 2013

[ONE // illini gets one for the thumb]
Illinois won the Big Ten Men's Golf Championships on Sunday, shooting an 11-over 1,163 to clinch its fifth-straight, and 12th overall, conference title. The Illini bested second-place Minnesota (1,172) by nine strokes to win the crown. The Illini and Gophers were followed by third-place Iowa (1,186), while Indiana and Ohio State (1,190) tied for fourth.  Illinois' Thomas Pieters won the championships' individual medal, shooting a 4-under 284 over four rounds. Teammate Brian Campbell and Minnesota’s Erik Van Rooyen finished tied for second place, followed by Ohio State’s Boo Timko in fourth. Iowa’s Joseph Winslow and Purdue’s Adam Schenk tied for fifth. Each player was named to the 2013 Big Ten All-Championships Team.  Northwestern’s Jack Perry was honored with the Les Bolstad Award, given to the conference player with the lowest season stroke average.

[TWO // enough to share]
Northwestern and Purdue shared the Big Ten title in women’s golf on Sunday, shooting an overall score of 884 in the Big Ten Women’s Golf Championships. The Wildcats and Boilermakers were followed by third-place Michigan State (889), fourth-place Penn State (900) and fifth-place Indiana (916). Northwestern wins its first Big Ten Championship, while Purdue notched its sixth overall crown and first since 2010.  Purdue’s Paula Reto won the championships' individual medal, shooting a 4-under 212 for the event. Michigan State’s Caroline Powers (219) finished second, followed by Penn State’s Katlyn Elliot (220) and the Spartans’ Christine Meier (220) in a tie for third. Michigan State’s Allyssa Ferrell (221) rounded out the top five, while Northwestern’s Kaitlyn Park (222) placed sixth. Each player also earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Championships team.  The Boilermakers’ Reto was also honored with the Mary Fossum Award, honoring the conference player with the lowest stroke average to par this season.

[THREE // buckeyes bolster another big ten title]
Top-seeded Ohio State won the Big Ten Men's Tennis Tournament title on Sunday, earning a 4-0 win over third-seeded Michigan to clinch the tournament crown and earn the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. The Buckeyes did not give up a point in their three tournament matches, picking up three consecutive 4-0 wins en route to the crown. Ohio State, which claimed its eighth straight Big Ten Championship with an unblemished 11-0 regular season record, earned the doubles point and an early 1-0 lead with victories at the No. 1 and 3 doubles positions.

[FOUR // men’s tennis announce postseason honors]
The Big Ten men’s tennis All-Conference teams and individual awards were announced on Thursday night at the Big Ten Tournament banquet. Michigan’s Evan King was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year, while Illinois’ Jared Hiltzik earned Freshman of the Year honors and Ohio State’s Ty Tucker picked up Coach of the Year laurels.  King receives top billing among Big Ten players for the second consecutive season after compiling a perfect record in conference singles play for the second year in a row (10-0 in 2013, 11-0 in 2012). The Wolverine senior is currently the 11th-ranked singles player in the country, helping Michigan to a No. 3 seed in the conference tournament. King’s award marks the eighth time a Michigan player has claimed the honor and he is the fifth student-athlete to be tabbed Athlete of the Year twice in his career.


[FIVE // the dynasty continues]
Third-seeded Northwestern took home the Big Ten Women’s Tennis Tournament crown with a 4-1 victory over top-seeded Michigan on Sunday. The title is the Wildcats’ 14th in the last 15 conference postseason events and gives them the Big Ten’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. Northwestern jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with victories in the No. 2 and 3 doubles position. The Wolverines knotted the score at 1-1 with a victory by 25th-ranked Emina Bektas over 123rd-ranked Veronica Corning (3-6, 6-3, 6-2) in the No. 1 singles slot.  The Wildcats responded with three-straight singles victories to clinch the match. In the No. 2 spot, 51st-ranked Kate Turvy knocked off 48th-ranked Ronit Yurovsky (3-6, 6-2, 6-1). Nida Hamilton pulled out a win over Kristen Dodge (6-1, 7-6) at No. 6 and Linda Abu Mushrefova defeated Brooke Bolender (3-6, 7-5, 6-4) at No. 4 to clinch the tournament title.

[SIX // and the winners are…]
The Big Ten announced its women’s tennis All-Conference teams and individual award winners at the conference tournament banquet on Thursday. Nebraska’s Mary Weatherholt was named Athlete of the Year, while Michigan’s Ronit Yurovsky took home Freshman of the Year honors and the Wolverines’ Ronni Bernstein was tabbed Coach of the Year.  Weatherholt reels in Athlete of the Year accolades for the second consecutive season after going undefeated in Big Ten play, compiling an 11-0 singles record and 9-0 doubles mark. The senior finished with a combined record of 40-2 in singles and doubles play and won three Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors this spring. She closed out the regular season ranked 11th in the country and led the Huskers to a share of their first conference championship and the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Weatherholt becomes the ninth student-athlete to be tabbed Athlete of the Year twice in her career. 


[SEVEN // a grappling great great with grades]
Penn State's Matt Brown has been named an NCAA Elite 89 Award recipient, presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 88 championships, it was announced on Tuesday. The Elite 89 recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individuals who have reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. Additionally, Ohio State's Max Stearns was named an NCAA Elite 89 recipient for fencing.  For the complete release, click here.

[EIGHT //ticket tourney talk]
All-Tournament passes and group tickets to the 2013 Big Ten Baseball Tournament to be held May 22-25 at Target Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins, are on sale now.  All-Tournament passes are $30 each, while group tickets (minimum 20) are available for $7 per ticket. Single-game tickets will be available day-of-game only at the Target Field Box Office and are $10 each for adults and $7 each for youth, senior citizens and students with a valid college ID. Individual game tickets for the tournament can be purchased at the Target Field Box Office adjacent to Gate 29 starting two hours prior to the start of the first game each day.  All-Tournament passes and group tickets are now on sale by calling the Target Field Box Office at (612) 338-9467 or (800) 338-9467.

[NINE // the great divide]
The Big Ten office has announced football division alignments set to begin in 2014 and nine-game conference schedules set to start in 2016.  The changes were unanimously recommended by conference directors of athletics and supported by the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors.  The new division alignments will feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers in the East Division and Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin in the West Division. All schools in the East Division are in the eastern time zone and all schools in the West Division are in the central time zone with the exception of Purdue. Each school will play the other six schools in its division plus two teams from the other division in 2014 and 2015, which will serve as transitional years in which the schools will still be playing eight-game schedules. Beginning in 2016, each school will play three teams from the other division as part of its nine-game schedule. The cross-division games will include one protected matchup on an annual basis between Indiana and Purdue.

[TEN // on the draft board]
Several Big Ten student-athletes had their names called as future NFL players this past week at the NFL Draft.  For a complete look at where your favorite Big Ten player was taken, click here.

[ELEVEN // a new look for college football]
College football and the right to play for the national championship was clarified a little more this past week.  The group in charge of the new college football playoff announced Tuesday that the name of the new event will be “College Football Playoff,” and also invited fans, student-athletes, coaches, reporters and everyone else to choose their favorite logo for the event by voting on the playoff’s new website,   Elsewhere, the Tournament of Roses along with its partners, the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences, and the Bowl Championship Series unveiled a series of new programs including a new logo and modifications to the champion's trophy to commemorate the 100th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO.

[TWELVE //defending national champs fall to mexico in spring]
Finally this week, a little spring action on the pitch as a goal in the 31st minute from Alfonso Gonzalez was all the U-20 Mexican National team needed in a 1-0 win over Indiana on Jerry Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium Sunday afternoon.  The match capped the 2013 spring season for Indiana and is an annual event for the Hoosiers, with more than 3,300 fans coming out to watch the international matchup. The Mexican squads hold an all-time record of 5-2 in the series.