Huskers Advance To Sweet 16 First Time Ever - The No. 16 Nebraska Huskers women’s tennis team (24-5), as the No. 15 in the NCAA Tournament head to Urbana, Ill. as one of the 16 teams to advance from the first- and second-round matches to qualify for the finals. The Huskers will face No. 2 North Carolina on Friday, May 17 at 7 p.m. CT. This match marks the first Sweet 16 appearance in program history, making this season’s squad the most successful to come through Nebraska.
The matches will be played at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center and hosted by the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill. from Thursday, May 16 through Tuesday, May 21. The Tar Heels advanced to the Sweet 16 to face the Huskers after hosting Tennessee, VCU, and South Carolina State. North Carolina defeated South Carolina State in the first round 4-0 before ousting Tennessee 4-1 in the second round.
Huskers In The ITA National Rankings
Nebraska is currently ranked 16th in this week’s rankings. The ITA Division I women’s tennis rankings were released Thursday, May 2 and Nebraska remained at the No. 16 spot in the nation this week. The Huskers have remained in the top 25 of the nation the entire 2013 season to date peaking at No. 6, the highest in school history.
Mary Weatherholt remained at No. 11 in ITA singles holding a record of 25-1 (12-1 against ranked opponents) on the season, including victories against then-ranked No. 16 Ema Burgic of Baylor, No. 23 Brynn Boren of Tennessee, No. 58 Britney Sanders of Notre Dame, No. 41 Kelsey Dieters of Ohio State, No. 17 Petra Niedermayerova of Kansas State, No. 120 Melissa Kopinski of Illinois, and No. 55 Kate Turvy of Northwestern, No. 111 Leslie Hureau of Indiana, No. 57 Petra Januskova of Penn State, No. 28 Emina Bektas of Michigan, No. 123 Veronica Corning of Northwestern, and No. 38 Aleksandra Josifoska of UNLV. Her only loss to a ranked opponent came at the hands of No. 83 Malika Rose of Oklahoma State.
Mary Weatherholt and partner Patricia Veresova remained in the ITA doubles rankings at No. 3 this week. The two are 20-2 on the season, including six victories against ranked opponents over then-ranked No. 12 Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely of Tennesse, No. 31 Petra Niedermayerova and Karla Bonacic from Kansas State, No. 8 Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton of Northwestern, No. 75 Petra Januskova and Chelsea Utting of Penn State, No. 39 Krisztina Kapitany and Mara Schmidt of Purdue, and No. 2 Brooke Bolender and Emina Bektas of Michigan.
Nebraska is currently 13-4 against teams ranked in the ITA top 75, with six victories against opponents ranked inside the top 25. The Huskers have knocked off No. 7 Northwestern, No. 15 Baylor, No. 18 Notre Dame, No. 19 Purdue, No. 21 Vanderbilt, No. 23 Tennessee, No. 30 Penn State, No. 32 Kansas State, No. 32 Indiana, No. 37 Illinois, No. 55 Ohio State, No. 57 UNLV and No. 64 Wyoming. Nebraska’s losses came from No. 10 Miami at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Feb. 8, No. 35 Oklahoma State on March 21, No. 7 Michigan on April 13, and No. 15 Northwestern during the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
The Huskers are the third-highest ranked team in the Big Ten behind No. 10 Michigan and No. 11 Northwestern. Eight teams from the Big Ten are in the top 75 this week, with a total of three in the top 25. The remaining ranked Big Ten teams are No. 30 Purdue, No. 41 Indiana, No. 45 Illinois, No. 47 Penn State, and No. 73 Ohio State.
Mary Weatherholt Earns Athlete of the Week Three Times
The Huskers senior from Prairie Village, Kan. won the Big Ten Women’s Tennis Athlete-of-the-Week honors on March 13 following her impressive undefeated record, including several victories over ranked opponents in both singles and doubles. This marks the third time that Weatherholt has earned the award this season thus far, after claiming the honors the week of Jan. 30 and Feb. 13.
Huskers in the Record Books
Weatherholt, with her 25 singles victories thus far this season, has set the record for Career Singles wins at 118, previously held by Sandra Noetzel from 1996-2000. She set the record on Friday, Feb. 22 with a victory agaisnt UALR.
Weatherholt, with an impressive record this spring season at 45-3 combined record (25-1 single, 20-2 doubles), has reached 201 combined victories to become the winningest women’s tennis player in Huskers history, formerly held by former teammate Madeleine Geibert with 181 total career combined wins. Weatherholt notched her 200th career win with her singles victory over Rebecca Pedrazzi of Wichita State on Friday, May 10 in the NCAA First Round. Weatherholt has become the first and only women’s tennis player to reach 200 combined victories as a Husker.
Stefanie Weinstein has notched 50 combined victories this season which places her at No. 2 on the Career Combined wins record board (with 185). She passed Madeleine Geibert on Friday, April 26 with her two victories against Minnesota.
Weinstein also has 28 individual doubles wins this season which puts her at the No. 1 spot on the school’s Career Doubles Individual Wins list at 97. She surpassed former teammate Madeleine Geibert at 91 with her victory against Michigan State on Sunday, April 14 to achieve the top spot.
The 28 victories also puts Weinstein tied for No. 2 on the Season Doubles individual wins list. She needs just one more victory to match the No. 1 spot, currently held by teammate Weinreich, and Weinstein herself from her 2011-12 season last year.
Mary Weatherholt has accumulated 20 doubles individual wins this season putting her at No. 3 on the Career Doubles Individual wins with 83.
Janine Weinreich has amassed 29 doubles individual victories this season notching her at No. 4 on the Career Doubles Individuals wins list with 77 total. Weinreich toppled Reimers (74) with her victory on Friday, April 26 against Wisconsin.
Weinreich’s 29 doubles wins this season puts her tied for No. 1 spot on the Season Doubles Individuals wins list. The record is shared with teammate Stefanie Weinstein’s 29 wins in 2011-12. Weinreich only needs one more victory to position herself as the lone No. 1.
Weinstein and Weinreich, as a doubles team, have climbed to the top of the Season Doubles Team wins to be tied at No. 1 with their 28 victories this season. The duo needs only one more win to topple the other two pairs that hold the spot and become the most successful tandem in a lone season.
Weatherholt and Veresova Earn NCAA Bids
Nebraska has two seniors participating in the individual championships of the NCAA tournament after the team portion. Mary Weatherholt earned an automatic bid to join 64 players in the singles championships as well as earning an automatic selection with doubles partner Patricia Veresova to play in the 32-pair doubles championships. These matches are held My 22-27 following the team matches on May 16-21.
Huskers Win the Herman, Weatherholt Grabs Top Honors
The women’s tennis team earned Nebraska’s Herman Award, which goes to the team with the highest team GPA of all the Huskers sports, with a GPA of 3.793. The team won the award last season in 2012 as well.
Weatherholt also earned Nebraska’s Student Athlete of the Year award. The award only goes to one male and one female student athlete from all Huskers sports every year and Weatherholt’s hard work and success both on and off the court was able to see the senior attain the honor in her final season as a Husker student athlete.
Weatherholt Wins Cissie Leary Sportsmanship Award
Weatherholt received the Cissie Leary Central Region Sportsmanship Award this season. One of 11 candidates, she qualified for the award based on her outstanding capabilities both on and off the court. The ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship goes to a Division I women’s player who displays inspiring dedication and commitment to her team, which has enhanced her team’s performance and exemplified the spirit of college tennis. It dates back to 1997 and is memory of the late and widely admired Penn women’s tennis coach Cissie Leary.
Scouting North Carolina
Head Coach: Brian Kalbas
National Ranking: 2
North Carolina enters the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 as the No. 2 seed and the No. 2 ranked team in the nation. The Tar Heels are currently 28-3 overall and have five players in the singles rankings with No. 7 Gina Suarez-Malaguti, No. 39 Whitney Kay, No. 46 Caroline Price, No. 49 Zoe De Bruycker, and No. 121 Ashley Dai. North Carolina has three duos ranked in doubles with No. 39 Whitney Kay and Ashley Dai, No. 58 Whitney Kay and Caroline Price, and No. 67 Gina Suarez-Malaguti and Zoe De Bruycker. The Tar Heels and Huskers have met only one time in history with the series led by the North Carolina 1-0.