Northwestern Seeking Seventh Straight Big Ten Title at Women's Tennis Championship
April 27, 2005
Michigan State is set to play host to the 2005 edition of the Big Ten Women's Tennis Championship this weekend, Thursday, April 28 through Sunday, May 1. The postseason event will take place at the Michigan State Tennis Center in East Lansing, Mich., and feature all 11 Conference schools.
Four schools will open the Championship on Thursday at 10 a.m., as No. 8 seed Penn State faces No. 9 Ohio State, while No. 7 Michigan battles No. 10 Michigan State. Thursday's competition concludes with a 2 p.m. first serve with No. 6 Purdue facing No. 11 Minnesota.
The top three seeds -- No. 1 Northwestern, No. 2 Indiana, and No. 3 Iowa -- all received first-round byes and will battle the winners of Thursday's matches on Friday. In addition, No. 4 Illinois will face No. 5 Wisconsin.
Northwestern, ranked fifth in the nation by ITA, is looking for its seventh-consecutive Big Ten Championship title. The Wildcats are led by Cristelle Grier and Audra Cohen, who are the top doubles tandem in the nation. Additionally, Cohen is ranked fifth in the country in singles, while Grier, the two-time defending Big Ten Athlete of the Year, is 19th.
Including Northwestern, seven Conference squads can be found among the nation's top 75 teams. Indiana is ranked 34th, while Wisconsin is 38th and Michigan is 40th. The remaining Big Ten representatives are No. 49 Purdue, No. 50 Iowa and No. 53 Illinois.
In 2004, Ohio State marched its way through the Big Ten Championship bracket as the sixth-seed, knocking off No. 11 Penn State (4-3), No. 3 Illinois (4-2) and No. 7 Iowa (4-3) in its path. The Buckeyes could not hold off the Wildcats however, as Northwestern captured the 2004 Championship title on its home courts with a 4-0 victory.