2005 Season in Review
June 15, 2005
A national singles runner-up, a national doubles semifinalist, a national ITA Rookie of the Year, a pair of All-Americans, several regional award winners, and a team's seventh-straight Conference title were among the many highlights of the 2005 Big Ten Women's Tennis season.
Northwestern (26-3) played a large role in the highlights above as the Wildcats earned their seventh-consecutive League Championship and boasted an impressive tandem in Cristelle Grier and freshman Audra Cohen. Cohen, the 2005 Big Ten Athlete and Freshman of the Year, who also garnered the National ITA Rookie of the Year Award, came within two points of becoming the Conference's first individual national champion. The Wildcat fell to Baylor's Zuzana Zemenova in the third set of the national final, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Cohen, who concluded one of the winningest seasons in NCAA history, finishing 51-7 in her inaugural collegiate campaign, became the first Big Ten women's tennis athlete to compete in the NCAA final as well as vying to become the first female from a northern school to win an NCAA Singles Championship. Cohen also became the first Wildcat to win at least 50 matches in a season.
Cohen and her doubles partner Grier were tabbed All-Americans after advancing to the national semifinals and ending the season ranked second in the country.
Illinois' Cynthya Goulet received regional recognition by the ITA, as she was named the Midwest Region ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship winner as well as being tabbed the Midwest Region ITA Senior Player of the Year.
In the final ITA poll, Northwestern, which fell as a team in the Round of 16, finished ranked fifth in the country, while Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana were ranked 34th through 36th, respectively. Iowa ranked 45th in the final poll, followed by Purdue at 46th. Illinois was the seventh Big Ten team listed in the nation's Top 75, as the Fighting Illini finished 53rd.
Individually, Cohen ranked third on the Top 100 Singles list, followed by Big Ten competitors Grier (T-20th), Goulet (49th), Michigan's Michelle DaCosta (76th), Northwestern's Alexis Prousis (77th) and Wisconsin's Caitlin Burke (79th). Among the Top 60 Doubles, Grier and Cohen finished second, while Michigan's Michelle DaCosta and Kara Delicata were 19th and Indiana's Dominika Walterova and Sarah Batty were ranked 39th. Rounding out the Top 60 was Northwestern's Prousis and Kristi Roemer at 54th and Illinois' Goulet and Emily Wang at 57th.
In addition to several players ranked in the national polls, 42 Big Ten student-athletes were named to the Academic All-Conference Team. Wisconsin led all schools with six representatives, followed by Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State with five each.