The Nebraska women's tennis team produced another record-breaking season in 2010-11, finishing with a 20-8 overall record. It was NU's second consecutive 20-win campaign and the Huskers' second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Huskers defeated nine nationally ranked teams in 2010-11 and finished the year with a No. 43 national ranking of their own.
"This was a group with tremendous passion for competition," Head Coach Scott Jacobson said. "They also showed a lot of composure throughout the year, winning all six 4-3 dual matches we had this season."
Nebraska demonstrated impressive heart and perseverance, as the Huskers battled injuries throughout the season, including the loss of one of their top returning players, Mary Weatherholt, early in the spring season.
"Injuries and illnesses were a constant this year," Jacobson said. "I believe we showed tremendous courage and never used injury or illness as an 'out' for performance."
The Huskers kicked off their fall campaign at the Midland Invitational, Riviera All-American and ITA Central Regionals. NU logged a combined record of 19-16 in singles play, including sophomore Stefanie Weinstein's team-leading fall record of 4-2. The Big Red added a 5-10 record in doubles action, led by Weinstein and junior Madeleine Geibert's mark of 3-3.
Nebraska transitioned into the spring season with their first-ever appearance in the ITA Kickoff Classic in January. The Huskers traveled to Evanston, Ill., to compete in a four-team regional with Northwestern, Boise State and Harvard. NU toppled No. 38 Boise State, 5-2, to advance to the regional championship to face Northwestern. The match ended with more than just a 7-0 loss to the Wildcatsto, as Weatherholt suffered her season-ending injury during singles play.
The Huskers bounced back in big way, running off 11 consecutive victories in February and March. It marked the fourth straight year NU unleased at least 10 wins in a row. Their wins included triumphs over five ranked opponents, including three victories over future Big Ten Conference foes (No. 66 Wisconsin, No. 59 Minnesota, No. 45 Ohio State). In mid-February, the team achieved the program's highest-ever ranking in the ITA Division I Women's Tennis Rankings, polling at the No. 26 position.
The most challenging portion of Nebraska's schedule came during conference play, where they faced nine ranked teams in just over a month. NU opened the league slate on March 18 with a 6-1 loss to No. 19 Oklahoma, but returned to defeat Oklahoma State the next day in Lincoln.
After a loss to No. 23 Tulsa, the Huskers rebounded in Big 12 action with a trio of victories against Missouri, Kansas State and Kansas. NU's 4-3 win over No. 31 Kansas State provided one of the season's most memorable moments. With the match tied at victories apiece, Geibert bounced back from a first-set loss at No. 1 singles to knock off nationally ranked Petra Niedermayerova, 0-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Nebraska split its final six matches to enter the Big 12 Tournament with a No. 5 seed. NU dispatched Colorado, 4-0, in the first round to move into the quarterfinals against Texas A&M. The No. 30 Aggies ended Nebraska's stay at the Big 12 Tournament, but the Huskers had more tennis to play.
Nebraska's 20-7 regular-season record earned the Huskers their second consecutive at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. NU traveled to the Ann Arbor Regional for a rematch with mid-season opponent Tulsa. The Huskers narrowly lost the doubles point against the No. 22 Golden Hurricane, but managed two wins in singles play. The Huskers' season ended with a 4-2 loss to Tulsa.
The Huskers closed a successful campaign with several team and individual awards. On the court, Madeleine Geibert and Patricia Veresova earned spots on the All-Big 12 Singles Team for their impressive seasons. Six Huskers added academic All-Big 12 honors, including first-teamers Abby Buxton, Jennifer Holmberg, Janine Weinreich, Stefanie Weinstein and Veresova. Geibert added second-team academic All-Big 12 accolades. Weatherholt also made the most of her season by earning one of Nebraska's prestigious HERO Student-Athlete Leadership awards for her commitment to NU's award-winning Life Skills program.
The Huskers added one of Nebraska's most coveted team awards as well, claiming the Herman Award for the top cumulative grade-point average for any female sport at the University of Nebraska. It was the second time that Coach Jacobson's squad had won NU's Team GPA award since 2005.
On the court, Nebraska's 20 team wins ranked second in school history, while Geibert's 135 career combined wins moved her to fourth all-time at NU. Geibert and Weinstein's 20 doubles wins on the year also ranked fourth on Nebraska's single-season charts.
Nebraska loses lone senior Abby Buxton to graduation. Buxton finished her career with a record of 18-17 in singles play and 9-9 in doubles for Nebraska.
"This is a tough group with a great understanding of what it takes to reach the next level," Jacobson said. "We will set our sights and goals higher than they have ever been this coming year. The skill level of this group is deserving of setting the bar as high as it has ever been set."