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Northwest Bearcats

1997 Women's Tennis Team

Head coach Mark Rosewell called this group of athletes his best team during his tenure as the leader of the tennis program at Northwest Missouri State.  That’s high praise for the 1997 women’s tennis team but their MIAA team title, five individual MIAA championships and remarkable 28-2 record go a long way in supporting that claim. The Bearcats rolled through opponents during that season like no one had seen at Northwest before, or ever since.

A tandem that quickly caught coach Rosewell’s eye was the way his No. 1 and No. 2 singles players teamed up for a doubles ITA title during the fall season. Iva Kuflova and Yasmine Osborne not only finished stellar individual careers at Northwest, but helped compile one of the best seasons in MIAA tennis history.

The Bearcats entered the NCAA South Central Region with only one loss on the year, an early season set-back against Cameron University. However, Northwest quickly regrouped from this defeat and rattled off 24 straight wins on their way to a South Central Regional Championship. Coach Rosewell would be named the MIAA Coach of the Year as his Bearcats knocked off an impressive five NCAA Division I teams including Southwest Missouri State, University of Missouri, Northern Iowa, Creighton, and UMKC.

Northwest entered the NCAA Championships with a 27-1 record and started with a 5-2 win over Presbyterian College in the first round. The Bearcats would see their season end at the hands of two-time defending national champion Armstrong Atlantic in the National quarterfinals, but there was no denying that they left their mark on Bearcat Athletics.