Wildcat of the Week: Raleigh Smith
The women’s tennis team sent a champion to the ITA National Championships with a win at the regionals last week. The men’s tennis team needed a champion of its own. And Monday, Northwestern got it.
Junior Raleigh Smith took home two Big Ten Indoor Championships this weekend, winning the singles title as the tournament’s fourth seed and won the tournament’s doubles championship along with Sidarth Bilaji. Smith won all four matches in straight sets, disposing of fifth-seeded Oskar Wikberg 6-1, 6-2 in the final.
Northwestern had three players reach the round of 16 and two players reach the round of eight — with Smith defaulting over Bilaji in the round of eight Sunday before the two played together for the double championship.
In the doubles final, Smith and Bilaji defeated the Michigan duo of Michael Zhu and Barrett Franks 8-4. Zhu and Franks were seeded third in the tournament while the NU duo were unseeded for this tournament.
Dina Bazarbayeva, Fencing: Barzabayeva took home a gold medal at the epee event of the Remenyik Open in a very big weekend for Northwestern’s fencing team. Seven fencers in all found their way to top finishes at the Regional Open Circuit event. Barzabayeva was the star of the day though for her victory in the senior epee. She defeated top-seeded Ania Garnia in the final after dropping just one bout in the weekend during pool play before sweeping through the elimination round. The junior struggled mightily last year after a strong freshman year and appeared to return to form this weekend.
Joey Calistri, Men’s Soccer: Northwestern clinched its second consecutive Big Ten regular season championship after a 1-1 tie at Indiana earlier this week. Calistri had the game-tying tally as Northwestern needed at least a draw to have a shot at the Big Ten’s top spot. The 52nd minute goal against the Hoosiers was Calistri’s team-leading seventh of the season and helped him earn his second Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. The Wildcats host the Big Ten Tournament at Lakeside Field this week, opening play Wednesday against the Buckeyes.
Corey Wootton and Sherrick McManis, Football: Congrats to Corey Wootton for scoring his first NFL touchdown. Of course, he got an assist from former teammate Sherrick McManis who blocked the punt leading to Wootton’s score. The Bears won too, that is always nice.