Hawkeyes Prepare for NCAA Tournament

May 10, 2004

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This Week: The Iowa women’s tennis team will travel to Evanston, IL, this weekend to compete in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes will face Notre Dame Saturday at 10 a.m. The winner of the match will face the Northwestern/Illinois-Chicago (scheduled for Sat. at 2 p.m.) winner Sunday at noon. All matches will take place at the Vandie Christie Tennis Center.

The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame, ranked 28th nationally, is 11-11 overall and 4-1 in conference play. The Fighting Irish are led in singles competition by Alicia Salas, ranked 22nd nationally. Freshmen twins Christian and Catrina Thompson complete the top half of the lineup. The duo, ranked 36th nationally, is Notre Dame’s top doubles team.

Iowa-Notre Dame Series: Notre Dame leads the series over Iowa, 8-1. Earlier this season, the Fighting Irish defeated the Hawkeyes (6-1) at Notre Dame. Sophomore Chelsea Glynn captured Iowa’s only point with a singles win over Lauren Connelly.

The Regional Field: Northwestern is the 10th seed in this year’s tournament. The Wildcats are currently 23-4 and are coming off their sixth consecutive Big Ten title. Illinois-Chicago enters the tournament with a 12-7 record. Notre Dame is 11-11.

Iowa in the NCAA Tournament: This year marks Iowa’s fourth tournament appearance in school history. Iowa is 2-3 in tournament matches. In 1999, the Hawkeyes upset Florida State (5-4) and Notre Dame (5-4) to advance to their first ever NCAA Championships where they lost to Duke in the Sweet Sixteen. Iowa lost to LSU (5-3) in 2000 and North Carolina (4-1) in 2001.

Hawkeyes Fare Well at Big Ten Tournament: Iowa had an impressive showing at the Big Ten Tournament, advancing to the semifinal round. The Hawkeyes posted a 4-0 victory over Minnesota on the first day of competition. Iowa then edged Indiana (4-3) before falling just shy of the championship match in a 4-3 semifinal loss to Ohio State.

Racette and Mintz Earn All-Big Ten Accolades: Freshmen Meg Racette and Hillary Mintz were named to the all-Big Ten team, becoming the ninth and 10th athletes in Iowa women’s tennis history to receive the honor. Racette was also selected Big Ten Freshman of the Year becoming the third Hawkeye to receive the honor (Toni Neykova, 1999 and Laura Dvorak, 1992).

In the Rankings: The Hawkeyes are 38th in the latest ITA Rankings. Meg Racette is Iowa’s highest ranked individual (110th). Racette and Hillary Mintz are ranked 60th in doubles competition.