May 30, 2008
by Jeff Smith
[ONE // trio of big ten squads battling for ncaa men's golf championship]
This week's review kicks off with Big Ten teams currently competing in NCAA Championship competition. Purdue is hosting this week's NCAA Men's Golf Championship, which Illinois, Indiana, Penn State and Wisconsin's Dan Woltman are taking part in. Friday marks the third of four rounds in the event, as well as cut day. Teams outside the top 15 will not make the cut to Saturday's final round. Entering Friday, Illinois led the conference contingent tied for 13th at 604 (302-302). Penn State was tied for 19th at 613 (315-298) and Indiana was tied for 27th at 623 (313-310). Wisconsin's Woltman improved 11 shots in his second round Thursday with a 1-under-par 71. BigTen.org spent its Thursday catching up with the action at Purdue's Kampen Course and a full notebook can be found here. Live scoring of the event can be followed at this link and the NCAA is providing live video streaming on selected holes, which can be seen here.
[TWO // big ten preps for ncaa rowing championships]
Three conference teams opened competition Friday at the NCAA Rowing Championships at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif. Big Ten champion Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin are competing in the two-day affair as teams, while Michigan was chosen as an at-large eight. The team championships are comprised of 12 teams and each team is required to field two boats of eight rowers and one boat of four rowers. Follow along with the event this weekend on the NCAA Championships host site, which also includes a link for live video steaming.
[THREE // speaking of national championships...]
The headline on NUsports.com this past weekend appropriately read FOURTH-WESTERN, signifying the Wildcats women's lacrosse team's fourth consecutive national championship. While lacrosse is not a fully-sponsored sport in the Big Ten, the conference is proud of all of its member institution teams. Northwestern earned a 10-6 victory over Penn to win the title at 21-1 overall. The Wildcats lone loss of the year came to Penn earlier in the season, so avenging the loss for the national title was extra sweet for the Wildcats. Recently the Big Ten Network recognized the NU lacrosse team and its special relationship with young Jaclyn Murphy. This is a must watch.
[FOUR // take your mark]
NCAA Track and Field regional competition also takes place this weekend. Beginning on Friday, Penn State is competing in the East Regional; Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin will travel to the Mideast Regional; and Iowa and Minnesota will compete at the Midwest Regional. BigTen.org recently broke down each regional and all the conference standouts you need to keep your eye on this weekend!
[FIVE // the end of an historic season]
After another dominating women's tennis season, which saw Northwestern ranked as the nation's top team and earn its 10th straight conference championship, the promising season ended without a national championship. The Wildcats had hoped that freshman sensation Maria Mosolova could make it through the singles bracket and claim the individual crown, but the dream was not meant to be. At least of course for this year... The Big Ten's Athlete and Freshman of the Year, Mosolova fell 4-6, 4-6 to Baylor's Zuzana Zemenova in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA singles championship last Saturday. Mosolova was the nation's fifth-ranked player and finished the season an impressive 41-6 overall, including 23-3 in dual match play.
[SIX // miles high in the gymnastics ranks]
Congratulations to Ohio State men's gymnastics coach Miles Avery on being named the 2008 USA Gymnastics Coach of the Year. Avery was awarded the honor following last weekend's 2008 VISA Championships - a competition in which the Big Ten was well represented. Earlier in the week, BigTen.org took a closer look at Avery's accomplishments and the six former Big Ten gymnasts that made their mark on the national stage last week. For more on that story, click here.
[SEVEN // if you build it, they will come]
In this case, "you" is Michigan and "they" are some of baseball's finest. This past weekend Michigan doubled up on Big Ten Championships on its home field. Having already captured the regular season title, Michigan topped Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament final, 3-2. The win on the home turf gave the Wolverines their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and duties as one of 16 regional hosts. This weekend Michigan welcomes Arizona, Kentucky and Eastern Michigan to the Wilpon Baseball Complex home of Ray Fisher Stadium, May 30-June 2. Michigan drew Kentucky as its Friday opponent. First pitch is at 7 p.m. ET.
[EIGHT // big ten softball season concludes]
This past weekend the Big Ten softball season concluded in NCAA Tournament play. While No. 6 Michigan opened on its home field with a 1-0 victory over Virginia Tech last Saturday, the 17th-ranked Hokies responded by winning twice on Sunday, 1-0 and 6-1, to take the best-of-three NCAA Super Regional and earn its first trip to the WCWS. No. 11 Northwestern was eliminated by No. 2 Arizona State, 9-0, in six innings last Saturday in the Tempe Super Regional.
[NINE // a student before an athlete]
Congratulations to the 31 Big Ten student-athletes named to the 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Men's and Women's At-Large Teams. A deserving tip of the cap also goes to a pair of conference baseball and softball standouts. Earlier this week, the 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Baseball and Softball Teams were announced. Minnesota's Matt Nohelty was a first-team honoree and Northwestern's Mike Kalina was named to the third team. On the softball side, Iowa's Colleen McGlaughlin was named to the first team and Michigan's Alessandra Giampaolo was a third-team honoree.
[TEN // academic honors awarded across all big ten spring sports]
And while we are talking about success in the classroom, let us honor the 962 spring sport student-athletes who were named Academic All-Big Ten on Wednesday. The list of honored student-athletes features 87 baseball players, 69 softball players, 111 women's rowers, 40 women's and 36 men's golfers, 56 women's and 48 men's tennis standouts, 162 women's and 138 men's track and field athletes and 120 women's (representing water polo, ice hockey, fencing, synchronized swimming, lightweight rowing, lacrosse, pistol and rifle) and 95 men's (representing ice hockey, volleyball, lacrosse, fencing, rowing, pistol and rifle) at-large athletes. In addition, at least 12 Big Ten student-athletes from six different schools maintained unblemished GPAs. For a complete list of the 2008 honorees, click here!
[ELEVEN // honored for the right to write]
Finally this week, Wisconsin's Tyler Mason was honored with one of the unique Big Ten awards. Recognized for his daily efforts as a student journalist, Mason was named the recipient of the Big Ten Conference William R. Reed Memorial Award, named after the conference's former commissioner. A junior journalism major, Mason served as the sports editor and men's hockey beat writer for The Badger Herald during the last academic year and has written for the newspaper since 2006, also briefly covering the art and news beats.