Random Thoughts: NU's High Flying Women

Coach Roy spent the first part of the week out west talking about Football coverage, but somehow, after we recapped the Spring, the talk about NU always gravitated towards those 3 Powerhouse Women's Spring sport teams...

NU used to be known for our dominance in the Spring "country club" sports...
The Wildcat Men's Tennis and Golf teams at the end of the 20th century were almost legendary in their ability to dominate play around the Big Ten and beyond. You can look at the PGA and see how good Men's Golf was back then.

Maybe its Title IX, or the efforts of former AD Rick Taylor, and present AD Mike Murphy, or just the proper alignment of the stars, but suddenly Spring Women's sports Northwestern are a force around the Big 10 and beyond.

I guess it started over on the Tennis Courts, when the women started out winning the men every year. Each year the Lady Court Cats seem to go deeper in the NCAA tournament, defeating opponenets both on the courts and in some of the back room manipulating that unfortunately happens at the hightest levels.

The bottom line here is that coach Claire Pollard and assistant Leigh Weinraub have assembled a top list of players, recruiting good players from all over the world to represent the Cats. You might have thought that Cristelle Grier's presence on the team was a once in a lifetime event, but since then NU has added top players in Soph Alexis Prousis and Frosh Audra Cohen to fill out a lineup that can be totally dominating. They should go deep in the NCAA's once again in 2005.

Then there's Softball - How do you follow a legend in College Softball?

You just go out and recruit better pitchers, then coach them along with the rest of the team, to raise their play to the top 20 level. Along the way you take some tough road trips, playing [and beating] other Top 20 teams. Coach Kate Drohan has assembled a team who can shut down your bats, while blasting home-runs. Maybe this year the Cats have the "hosses" to get out of the first round of the NCAA's - and also win the Big 10 Tournament too.

The new kid on this block is the Lacrosse team.

Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller has taken her background in the northeast, recruited women from established HS teams, as well as pulled in players from other sports, to give NU its first #1 ranked team in several decades.

Lacrosse politics aside, there's no reason to think the Cats won't wind up with a top seed in the NCAA tournament, and roll through that tournament the way they've rolled through the season. The starting lineup reads like a list of Lacrosse "players of the week" because many of them have been so honored.

I can't skip the Women Golfers, who also got an NCAA bid this week - Their road has been rockier, with the Kim sisters, Ina and Alice leading the way through rain, and snow to qualify.

Yup, all Northwestern Sports Fans need to stop worrying about next Fall and Winter and just enjoy 3 nationally ranked Wildcat teams. We'll all have something different to talk about for the next few weeks, and frankly, I can't wait...
-- da Coach

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