May 14, 2009
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The top-seeded Northwestern women's tennis team joins sixteen of the nation's top squads in College Station, Texas this week to compete for the 2009 NCAA Championship, held at the Mitchell Tennis Center on the campus of Texas A&M University. The Wildcats are making their sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Round of 16 and will meet No. 16 Fresno State on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. (ET).
Northwestern (27-1, 10-0) coasted through its regional bracket, sweeping Miami (Ohio), 4-0, in the first round and topping No. 26 Kentucky, 4-1, in second-round competition. This is the sixth consecutive season that head coach Claire Pollard has guided her team to a berth in the tournament's round of 16 in her 11 years at the helm. The Wildcats look to improve on its all-time NCAA Tournament ledger of 22-19.
The Wildcats have reigned supreme in the national rankings throughout the season, sitting atop the Campbell/ITA College Tennis national poll in every week this year. NU also boasts five Wildcats among the top 50 singles player in the country, highlighted by Maria Mosolova preserving the top overall position. Georgia Rose garners a No. 20 ranking, while Samantha Murray checks in at No. 47. The trio will represent Northwestern and the Big Ten Conference in the singles portion of the tournament following the conclusion of the team championship on May 20-25. Mosolova and Rose will also pair up with Keri Robison and Lauren Lui, respectively, in doubles competition.
Northwestern heads into College Station having won its last 19 dual matches, including a neutral-site win over Fresno State six weeks ago when the 'Cats edged the Bulldogs, 4-2, in San Diego. Since then, Fresno State (24-5) has continued its winning ways, winning the WAC Championship and posting15 straight victories en route to the Round of 16. Friday's contest will mark the second NCAA Championships bout between the two squads in as many years after Northwestern ended Fresno State's run at the title in the 2008 tournament's round of 16 by a 4-1 margin. A win over Fresno State would match the best tournament performance in program history for NU, which has reached the quarterfinals two of the past three seasons. Northwestern would face either eighth-seeded California or ninth-seeded Georgia Tech, who are also slated to square off on Friday.
NCAA.com Interactive Bracket
Texas A&M Tournament Central