Feb. 4, 2011
DANVILLE, Ill. – The Northern Illinois women’s tennis team (0-3) was back on the courts this afternoon as it faced intrastate foe Eastern Illinois (2-0). Despite a pair of wins by Haley Dekkinga and Kelly Phillips, the Huskies fell 5-2 at the Danville Tennis Center.
“It was a great battle today,” said NIU head coach Ryun Ferrell. “We’re still learning, still trying to figure ourselves out a little bit, but we looked even better than we did last weekend. This entire team is going to get over the hump soon and the door is going to bust right open, then I think we’ll be good to go.”
The day began with the pairing of Phillips and Emily Rogers picking up an 8-5 win over Merritt Whitley and Cara Huck in the No. 1 doubles flight, but the Huskies dropped an 8-5 decision in the second and an 8-4 decision in the third, earning the Panthers the doubles point.
In singles, Dekkinga and Phillips continued their solid play to start the season, pushing their records to 2-1 with straight-set victories. Phillips defeated Amanda Dibbs in the No. 4 flight, 6-2, 6-4, while Dekkinga posted a 6-0, 7-5 victory over Cara Huck in the fifth flight.
At No. 3 and No. 6, Sara McLaughlin and Ilse Pacheco had hard-fought matches, but both fell in straight sets, McLaughlin was defeated 7-5, 7-5 by Whitley and Pacheco dropped a 6-4, 6-4 decision to Annie Egan.
“Some of them have lost [who they are as players] a little bit and they need to find it again, and that’s actually the tough thing,” Ferrell said. “Since we have so many kids playing at so many different spots, they expect that they have to play a certain way because they’re in that spot, when they actually just need to stick to what they’re good at and make it work that way.”
The Huskies get a week off before taking the short trip east to Chicago on Feb. 11 to face UIC.