Singles and Doubles Standouts: Northwestern's tandem of Alicia Barnett and Veronica Corning reached the Round of 16 at the 2014 NCAA Singles & Doubles Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. The duo dropped a three-set decision to the eventual national runner-up pairing from host Georgia. For more on Big Ten student-athletes in the NCAA Singles & Doubles Championships, click here and here.
Teams in the Tournament: Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State and Purdue represented the Big Ten at the NCAA Championship, marking the sixth time in the last seven years the conference boasted at least four teams in the tournament. The Wolverines and Wildcats each advanced to the second round of the competition. Click here and here for more on Big Ten teams in the NCAA Championship.
ITA Recognition: Northwestern's Belinda Niu earned the ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award, it was announced on Tuesday, May 20. The prestigious national award was presented to the senior in Athens, Ga., in conjunction with the NCAA Championships. Click here for more on the award.
Michigan Standout Named All-American: One Big Ten standout earned All-America status, the ITA announced on June 5. Michigan's Emina Bektas was named an All-American for the second time in her career, earning the honor in singles this season after garnering the accolade in doubles last season. Click here for more information.
Tournament Titans: Second-seeded Northwestern took home the Big Ten Women's Tennis Tournament crown with a 4-3 victory over top-seeded Michigan on Sunday, April 27. The title was the Wildcats' 15th in the last 16 conference postseason events and gave them the Big Ten's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship. Northwestern found itself down early as Michigan earned the doubles point and a 1-0 lead in the match with victories at the No. 2 and 3 doubles positions. The Wolverines extended the lead to 2-0 with a win at No. 1 singles before the Wildcats cut the lead to 2-1 by winning at the No. 3 singles position. The two schools continued to trade singles matches as the Wolverines claimed No. 4 singles and Northwestern was victorious at No. 5 singles. Now trailing 3-2, Northwestern earned victories in both No. 2 and 6 singles to claim the title. For more on the Big Ten Tournament, click here.
Claiming the Crown: Michigan claimed the outright Big Ten Women's Tennis Championship on Sunday, April 20, the final day of the regular season. The Wolverines earned their sixth overall and fifth consecutive Big Ten crown. Michigan closed the regular season with an 11-0 record in Big Ten play and a 19-3 overall mark. For more on the regular-season champions, click here.
Awards Galore: The Big Ten announced its women's tennis All-Conference teams and individual award winners at the conference tournament banquet on Thursday, April 24. Michigan’s Emina Bektas was named Athlete of the Year, while Ohio State’s Gabriella De Santis took home Freshman of the Year honors and the Wolverines’ Ronni Bernstein was tabbed Coach of the Year. Click here for more on the Big Ten's honorees.
In the Polls: Seven Big Ten teams, eight singles players and 10 doubles pairs were included in the final ITA College Tennis Rankings, released on May 27 (team) and June 4 (singles and doubles). Northwestern led all conference squads in the rankings, coming in at No. 15. Michigan joined Northwestern in the top 20, checking in at No. 17, followed by Ohio State (No. 37), Purdue (No. 43) and Illinois (No. 45) in the top 50. Michigan’s Emina Bektas led all conference singles players at No. 16, with Wolverine teammate Ronit Yurovsky (No. 29) and Northwestern’s Belinda Niu (No. 36) joining her in the top 40. Bektas and doubles partner Brooke Bolender checked in at No. 19 in the doubles rankings, with Northwestern’s Veronica Corning and Alicia Barnett following at No. 25. Full rankings are available here.