March 8, 2013
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's tennis team faces one of its toughest opponents to date when the Huskies play host to UIC Saturday at the Boylan High School Tennis Courts in Rockford (4000 St. Francis Drive). The match begins at 1 p.m. with doubles play and admission is free.
Both teams enter the match on winning streaks. NIU (12-1) has won nine straight contests dating back to Feb. 3, and its 12 victories this season are the most by a Huskie women's tennis team since 2003. UIC is 6-1 on the year with six consecutive victories since opening the spring campaign with a loss to Marquette.
"UIC is very, very good," said NIU Head Coach Ryun Ferrell. "They have talented players and have already beaten [Mid-American Conference schools] Western Michigan and Toledo this year. We will have our work cut out for us, but we're going to go out there and roll the dice and see what happens. I'm excited to play them and to see what we can do. In our last few meetings, they have beaten us pretty soundly so I'm looking forward to the challenge."
UIC has won the last four meetings between the teams, including a 7-0 victory in Chicago in 2011. The Huskies' last defeated the Flames in 2005.
Northern Illinois has been led by No. 1 player Nelle Youel (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central), who was named the MAC Women's Tennis Player of the Week for the second time this season earlier this week. Youel is undefeated in both singles and doubles, playing alongside partner Arantza De La Torre. Five Huskie players have 10 or more singles wins on the year, with Mary Malkin's 12-1 singles mark nearly matching Youel's record.
Ferrell said that while enjoying their 2013 success, the Huskies must remain focused on each individual match.
"We're playing with a lot of confidence right now, but we've got to focus on today," he said. "We've done some things that haven't been done here in a while, but we can't get caught up in that and look ahead."
Following the UIC match, Northern Illinois will play a pair of matches in Kansas during spring break. The Huskies take on Missouri-Kansas City Tuesday, March 12, in Kansas City and play Emporia State Wednesday, March 13, in Emporia, Kan.
-- NIU --
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