Huskers Head to First Big Ten Tennis Tournament
2012 Big Ten Women's Tennis Tournament
Teams Participating: Northwestern, Michigan, Illinois, Nebraska, Purdue, Minnesota, Indiana, Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State
Dates: Thursday, April 26 (First Round)
Friday, April 27 (Quarterfinals)
Saturday, April 28 (Semifinals)
Sunday, April 29 (Championship)
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Venue: Varsity Tennis Courts
Live Stats: OhioStateBuckeyes.com
TV: BTN on Wednesday, May 9 (5 p.m. CT)
The No. 17 Nebraska women's tennis team continues its pursuit of history as the Huskers head to their first Big Ten Tournament this weekend in Columbus, Ohio. Nebraska earned the No. 4 seed in the 12-team tournament and earned a first-round bye. NU will face the winner of the match between No. 5 seed Purdue and No. 12 seed Michigan State, which is set to take place on Thursday, April 26, at 9 a.m. (CT). The Huskers will square off against the winner on Friday, April 27, at 9 a.m. (CT) at the Varsity Tennis Center.
Nebraska, which climbed one spot to No. 17 in this week's ITA national rankings, has matched its highest ranking in school history. The Huskers (23-3, 9-2 Big Ten) have already set the school record for most victories after rolling past Minnesota and Wisconsin last weekend to close Big Ten regular-season play.
Now the Huskers set their sights on battling for the first Big Ten Tournament title in school history. Mary Weatherholt will lead the charge for the Huskers out of the No. 1 spot. Weatherholt, a junior from Prairie Village, Kan., takes aim at her 30th singles win of the season in the Huskers' first Big Ten match. Weatherholt, who is ranked No. 45 nationally, owns a 29-8 record including a 10-1 Big Ten mark. She has added 24 doubles wins, and her 53 combined wins are the most by a player in Nebraska history.
Weatherholt is joined in the Husker lineup by senior Madeline Geibert, who owns Nebraska's career combined victories mark with 179. Geibert is 20-11 in singles action and has teamed with Stefanie Weinstein to make up the No. 42 doubles team in the country at NU's No. 1 spot. Geibert and Weinstein are 24-8 this season, including 8-3 in the Big Ten.
Junior Patricia Veresova has added 48 combined wins this year, including an impressive 26-9 singles mark. Veresova, who is ranked No. 111 in singles action, has posted a 21-5 mark with Weatherholt in doubles, playing primarily at NU's No. 2 spot.
Junior Stefanie Weinstein has added 49 combined wins on the year, rolling to a 23-7 singles mark and a 27-8 doubles mark. Weinstein has joined Geibert as the No. 42 doubles team in the country. Junior Janine Weinreich has enjoyed a breakout season for the Huskers, rolling to a career-best 42 combined wins, including a sparkling 23-4 singles record playing primarily out of the No. 5 spot. Weinreich is ranked No. 97 nationally in singles play.
Huskers Set School Record with 23rd Victory
Nebraska already has wrapped up the winningest season in school history after posting its 23rd victory to close the regular season at Wisconsin (6-1) on April 22. The Huskers carry a 23-3 record and a 9-2 regular-season Big Ten mark into this weekend's conference tournament.
The Huskers won 22 matches in 2010 and 20 more in 2011, producing three straight 20-win campaigns. They are the first three 20-win seasons in school history.
Weatherholt Sets School Record for Combined Single-Season Wins
Mary Weatherholt has been rewriting the Nebraska record book since arriving on campus for the 2008-09 season, and that has continued as a redshirt junior in 2011-12. The Prairie Village, Kan., native set the school record for combined singles and doubles wins in a season with a pair of victories at Wisconsin on April 22 to increase her total to 53 this year. Weatherholt, who owns 29 singles wins and 24 doubles victories, broke the previous record of 51 set by Doneta Holmen in 1989-90. As a freshman, Weatherholt set the NU records for singles victories (36) in a season and singles winning percentage (36-4, .900). She also owns Nebraska's career singles winning percentage record of .828 (92-19).
As impressive as Weatherholt's individual totals have been in 2011-12, she is not alone in rewriting the Husker tennis record book. Junior teammate Stefanie Weinstein has tied for sixth in season combined wins, with 49 victories (23 singles, 26 doubles) this year.
Fellow junior Patricia Veresova is also within striking distance of 50 combined wins. Veresova enters the Big Ten Tournament with 48 combined wins (26 singles, 22 doubles). Nebraska's all-time wins leader, senior Madeleine Geibert, has added 44 victories (20 singles, 24 doubles) this year, while junior Janine Weinreich has contributed 42 wins (23 singles, 19 doubles).
Prior to the 2011-12 season, only four players in school history (Doneta Holmen (51), 1989-90; Sandra Noetzel (50), 1996-97; Weatherholt (50, 2008-09; Geibert (50), 2009-10) had produced 50-win campaigns.
Huskers Show Strength in ITA Team Rankings
Nebraska moved up one spot to No. 17 in this week's ITA Division I Women's Tennis Rankings, released April 24. The ranking matches the highest ranking in school history for the Huskers, and marks the seventh straight week the Huskers have been ranked in the top 25. Nebraska started the season at No. 39 and has steadily climbed the rankings throughout the year.
The Huskers are the third-highest ranked team in the Big Ten, trailing only No. 11 Northwestern and No. 15 Michigan. Nine Big Ten schools claimed spots in this week's top 75, including four in the top 25.
Nebraska is 13-3 this season against top 75 team, with all three of the Huskers' losses on the year coming to top-25 foes. NU is 2-3 against the top 25, with wins over current No. 11 Northwestern and current-No. 25 Tulsa. The Huskers' losses have come to No. 11 Northwestern, No. 15 Michigan and No. 20 Illinois.
The Huskers are 11-0 against the rest of the top 75, including 6-0 against (26-50). NU is also 5-0 against (51-75) in the rankings.
Five Huskers Featured in ITA Singles, Doubles Rankings
Nebraska's team success has been built on strong performances by the individuals in the Husker lineup. Five Huskers have worked their way into the ITA singles and doubles rankings entering the Big Ten Tournament, including three singles players and NU's top doubles team.
Junior Mary Weatherholt enters the Big Ten Tournament ranked No. 45 nationally with a 29-8 overall record that includes a 10-1 Big Ten mark at NU's No. 1 position. Fellow junior Janine Weinreich recently joined Weatherholt in the top 100, entering the tournament at No. 97 nationally with a 24-4 record, primarily out of NU's No. 5 position. Junior Patricia Veresova has added a No. 111 singles ranking with a 26-9 record playing primarily out of NU's No. 2 spot in the order.
In the doubles rankings, senior Madeleine Geibert and junior Stefanie Weinstein are ranked 42nd nationally. The duo has partnered for a 24-8 overall record in 2011-12, including an 18-5 mark as NU's No. 1 doubles team this spring.
The 2012 Big Ten Tournament Field
The Big Ten Tournament promises to be one of the most talented and deep conference tournament fields in the country, which should prepare Big Ten teams well for NCAA Tournament play.
Nine Big Ten teams are ranked among the top 63 teams in the country heading into the tournament, led by conference co-champion Northwestern at No. 11. The Huskers have faced the Wildcats twice this season, splitting a pair of decisions with the other NU. Nebraska lost the opener in Evanston (3-4, Jan. 29), before rebounding to hand the Cats their lone Big Ten loss (5-2) in Evanston on March 25. As the No. 4 seed, the Huskers could face the Wildcats in the semifinals, if NU can get past its quarterfinal foe (either No. 30 Purdue or Michigan State).
Nebraska's only losses in conference play came to Big Ten co-champion Michigan, which enters the tournament ranked 15th. The Wolverines, who earned the No. 2 seed, defeated the Huskers, 6-1, in Lincoln on April 13. Third-seeded Illinois posted a 4-3 road win over the Huskers in Urbana, Ill., on March 24. The Illini are ranked No. 20 in the most recent ITA rankings and joined the Huskers with a 9-2 Big Ten mark. Both Michigan and Illinois are on the opposite side of the bracket as the Huskers, meaning Nebraska could only see them in the Big Ten title match on Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT).
Big Ten Tournament play begins on Thursday, April 26, at 9 a.m. (CT) from the Varsity Tennis Center in Columbus, Ohio, with No. 8-seed Penn State facing No. 9-seed Ohio State and No. 5 Purdue taking on 12th-seed Michigan State. Thursday's first-round matches conclude with seventh-seeded Indiana taking on No. 10-seed Wisconsin and No. 6 seed Minnesota facing 11th-seeded Iowa at 1 p.m. (CT).
The quarterfinal matches will follow the same schedule on Friday, April 27, with Northwestern facing the Penn State/Ohio State winner and Nebraska battling the Purdue/Michigan State winner at 9 a.m. (CT). Michigan takes on the Indiana/Wisconsin victor, while Illinois clashes with the Minnesota/Iowa winner on Friday at 1 p.m. (CT).
Saturday's semifinal matches are both set for 9 a.m. (CT), while the Big Ten championship match will be held on Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT).
Big Ten Network to Provide Tournament TV Coverage May 9
The Big Ten Network will provided television coverage of the Big Ten Women's Tennis Tournament on a delayed basis on Wednesday, May 9, at 5 p.m. (CT). Coverage of the Big Ten's Men's Tournament is scheduled to air on BTN on Thursday, May 10, at 5 p.m.
Scouting the No. 30 Purdue Boilermakers
Head Coach: Laura Glitz
2012 Record: 14-6 (6-5 Big Ten)
National Ranking: No. 30
Big Ten Tournament Seed: No. 5
The Purdue Boilermakers enter Thursday's opening-round Big Ten Tournament match as the No. 5 seed and will face 12th-seeded Michigan State. The Boilermakers are ranked No. 30 nationally in the most recent ITA team rankings after posting a 14-6 regular-season mark that included a 6-5 Big Ten record.
Coach Laura Glitz and the Boilermakers rolled to a 6-1 win over Michigan State in Big Ten regular-season play in West Lafayette, Ind., on April 1. Purdue suffered a 5-2 loss to Nebraska in West Lafayette, Ind., on April 7.
In the loss to the Huskers, Purdue claimed the doubles point with wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles position. Mary Weatherholt (No. 1) and Janine Weinreich (No. 5) posted sweeps for Nebraska in singles play, while Madeleine Geibert (No. 3) and Stefanie Weinstein (No. 4) each produced hard-fought three-set wins for the Huskers. Maike Zeppernick added a win for NU at the No. 6 spot.
Scouting the Michigan State Spartans
Head Coach: Simone Jardim
2012 Record: 8-14 (0-11 Big Ten)
National Ranking: NR
Big Ten Tournament Seed: No. 12
Michigan State travels to Ohio State for the Big Ten Tournament as the only winless team in Big Ten regular-season play. The Spartans struggled to an 0-11 conference mark while notching an 8-14 overall record.
Coach Simone Jardim and the Spartans suffered a 6-1 loss to Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., during the regular season and must face the fifth-seeded Boilermakers in the tournament's first round on Thursday.
If the Spartans can get past Purdue, they would get a chance to avenge another 6-1 regular-season loss to Nebraska. The Huskers cruised to a victory over MSU on April 15 by sweeping the doubles matches and claiming straight-set wins at the No. 1, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 singles spots. Izabella Zgierska added a three-set win at No. 6, while Patricia Veresova suffered the only loss of the day for NU at the No. 2 singles spot.
Jacobson Notches 300th Coaching Win in California
Nebraska women's tennis head coach Scott Jacobson registered the 300th victory of his career with the Huskers' 4-3 win at Long Beach State on March 20. Jacobson entered the season with 285 victories and has led the Huskers to a 23-3 record so far this season to push his school-record victory total to 308.
The two-time Big 12 Coach of the Year selection (2005, 2009), has guided the Huskers to four NCAA Tournament appearances in the past seven years, including back-to-back bids in 2010 and 2011.
Geibert Setting Standard at Nebraska for Career Combined Wins
Senior Madeleine Geibert owns the Nebraska record for most career combined wins. Geibert has registered 179 combined wins in singles and doubles play during her career. The senior from Ludwigshafen, Germany, is 20-11 in singles and 24-8 in doubles play in 2011-12.