Northwestern has incredibly had much more success at the ITA championships rather than the NCAA championships. While the Wildcats have always advanced far in the Winter’s big indoor tournament, when things go outdoors the Wildcats have struggled to get over that hump. That indoor national championship is a few years removed, but Northwestern has not given up some strong play in the winter.
The Wildcats are off to another hot start, surviving a scare in the ITA Kickoff Weekend from the No. 26 Boilermakers. No. 14 Northwestern defeated Purdue 4-2, getting a big victory from Veronica Corning to secure the win and get to the ITA Main Draw.
Corning upset No. 108 Mary Schmidt at No. 2 singles 7-6, 6-4 to clinch the match 4-2 in NU’s favor. The Wildcats were losing the lone remaining match in the second set. A very big win indeed for NU. Northwestern will play in the ITA Team Championships Main Draw on Feb. 8 in Charlottesville, Va.
Jared Swopshire, Men’s Basketball — It was an odd week for the basketball team with a season-defining win over top-15 Minnesota at home and then a puzzling defeat on the road to Nebraska. We have already talked about how important Swopshire is to the team and their success. This week’s games might have proved that. Not that Swopshire did not play well. Swopshire scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds on 6-for-10 shooting in the win over Minnesota. He followed that game up with an 11-point, 16-rebound effort against Nebraska. The 16 rebounds marked the most rebounds a single player has grabbed in the Bill Carmody era.
Erin Fitzgerald, Women’s Lacrosse — As I noted Monday, Northwestern kicked off its lacrosse season with a pair of exhibition games against Team England and Team USA national teams. Fitzgerald had two goals in each of those games, including the game-tying goal with a little more than a minute remaining in regulation to send the game against Team England to overtime, where Northwestern eventually won. Fitzgerald had a strong junior season last year and will be one of the team’s leaders for another national championship run.
Jordan Willimovsky, Men’s Swimming — Willimovsky helped Northwestern kick off its dual against Iowa right by winning the 1,000 free by more than 10 full seconds by turning in a time of 9:27.14. Willimovsky has been an ace in that long distance race, turning in a time of 9:20.64 earlier this year.