The No. 25 Nebraska women's tennis team (15-1) will put its 14-match winning streak on the line in the state of Illinois, when the Huskers face No. 50 Illinois on Saturday in Urbana, before facing No. 14 Northwestern in Evanston on Sunday.
First serve for Saturday's match against the Fighting Illini at the CT Atkins Tennis Center is set for noon, as the Huskers face Illinois for the first time as Big Ten foes. The Huskers will wrap up their two-match Big Ten trip to the Land of Lincoln when they face Northwestern for the second time this season in Evanston. Nebraska's lone loss this season came with a 4-3 setback to the Wildcats in Evanston on Jan. 29.
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 15-1 record to open the season.
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 on Pace to Shatter School Record
Senior Madeleine Geibert is quickly closing in on Sandra Noetzel's school record for career combined wins (172, 1996-2000). Geibert ranks No. 2 all-time at Nebraska with 166 combined wins in singles and doubles play during her career. The senior from Ludwigshafen, Germany needs just six more victories to reach Noetzel's record. Geibert is 14-7 (9-4 spring) in singles and 17-5 (11-2 spring) in doubles play in 2011-12.
Nebraska in the National Rankings
The Huskers have climbed to No. 25 in the latest ITA Division I Women's Tennis Rankings, released March 13.
The Huskers are the third-highest ranked team in the Big Ten, trailing No. 14 Northwestern and No. 20 Michigan. The Huskers are ranked ahead of No. 26 Minnesota and No. 27 Purdue, along with No. 46 Penn State and No. 50 Illinois.
Overall, the Huskers are one of seven Big Ten teams in the ITA Top 50 and one of nine conference squads in the top 75, including No. 57 Indiana and No. 66 Ohio State.
Scouting the Illinois Fighting Illini
Head Coach: Michelle Dasso
2012 Record: 8-5 (0-1 Big Ten)
National Ranking: No. 50
No. 50 llinois enters the weekend with an 8-5 overall record, searching for its first Big Ten win after the Fighting Illini dropped their conference opener to No. 14 Northwestern (5-2, March 10). Illinois bounced back from its loss to the Wildcats with back-to-back wins over top-30 foes, including a 5-1 win over No. 28 Rice and a 4-3 victory at No. 9 Texas on March 21.
All five of the Fighting Illini's losses this season have come to top 35 teams, including current No. 5 Duke, No. 15 Alabama, No. 17 Notre Dame and No. 31 Arizona, along with the loss to No. 14 Northwestern.
Allison Falkin leads Illinois as the No. 92 singles player in the nation, according to the most recent ITA rankings. Falkin joins Rachel White as the No. 41 doubles team in the country, while teammates Breanne Smutko and Chelcie Abajian are also ranked 79th nationally in doubles.
Scouting the Northwestern Wildcats
Head Coach: Claire Pollard
2012 Record: 7-6 (1-0 Big Ten)
National Ranking: No. 14
No. 14 Northwestern heads into the weekend with a 7-6 record after notching back-to-back wins over llinois (5-2, March 10) and DePaul (7-0, March 21). The Wildcats opened the season 4-0, including a 4-3 win over Nebraska in Evanston on Jan. 29, before losing six of their next seven matches. However, Northwestern's losses during the month read like a who's who of top 25 foes. The Wildcats opened the stretch with a 5-0 loss to current No. 5 Duke, before falling to current No. 1 UCLA, 4-0. NU suffered a narrow 4-3 loss to current No. 12 Tennessee, before suffering a 5-2 setback to current No. 21 Georgia Tech. Northwestern's most recent losses came to No. 9 Texas (6-1) and No. 13 Baylor (4-2), before the Wildcats opened their Big Ten season with a win over in-state rival Illinois.
Northwestern is led by No. 16 Kate Turvy and No. 61 Brittany Wowchuk on the singles courts, while Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton make up the 14th-ranked doubles team in the nation.
The Huskers have received a big boost this season from their outstanding doubles play. NU has posted a 44-4 record this season in doubles play. Nebraska has swept doubles play in 13 of 16 matches, and has captured the doubles point in 15 of 16 matches before Long Beach State claimed the first doubles point of the season by an opponent on March 20.
Madeleine Geibert and Stefanie Weinstein make up Nebraska's top doubles team, coming in at No. 26 in the ITA national rankings. Geibert and Weinstein are 11-2 in doubles play, but have dropped back-to-back matches at the No. 1 doubles spot. Mary Weatherholt and Patricia Veresova own a 12-0 record this spring, including a 9-0 mark at No. 2 doubles.