PERFORMANCE EARNS HUSKIE SENIOR A MID-AM WOMEN'S TENNIS PLAYER OF
CLEVELAND, OH---Sometimes will power and a little determination
can push an athlete a long way. Northern Illinois University women's
tennis player Branka Savic (Geelong, Australia / North Geelong
Secondary) exemplified that this weekend, fighting through illness
and a cross-country flight to post a pair of victories and win a
Mid-American Conference Player of the Week award as announced by
league commissioner Rick Chryst Wednesday (Mar. 17).
The weekly accolade is the first of Savic's career and the second
of the season for Northern Illinois as a team. Karrie Tyioran
(Oswego) took home the same certificate back on Feb. 17.
"Branka had a goal coming into this season that she wanted
to be successful in the MAC," Huskie head coach Laura Scott
noted. "So this award really means something, because she has
been trying to prepare, every day, to head into the MAC and have
a good senior year."
Savic helped lead NIU to a 6-3 victory over the University of California-San
Diego---ranked 20th in the latest NCAA Division II Top 25---despite
feeling under the weather heading into the match. The two-time All-MAC
selection posted a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Leigh Roberts in the No.
2 singles spot and paired up with Ivonne Andrade (San Luis
Potosi, Mexico / Instituto Lomos de Real) to earn an 8-3 triumph
in the top doubles spot.
After a tough start to the season, Savic has climbed back to 10-12
in singles play including a now perfect 1-0 mark in the second spot
in the lineup. When playing together as a tandem, Savic and Andrade
boast a 9-8 ledger.
"Branka sets a very good tone for this team," Scott added.
"Her senior role is that of a motivational leader. Now that
her physical game on the court is starting to come back around as
well, she is going to be a very important part of our success down
NIU begins that stretch run this week by squaring off against instate
rival University of Illinois-Chicago. The two teams are scheduled
to battle Thursday (Mar. 18) at 12:00 p.m. (CST) at the Evergreen
Racquet Club in downtown Chicago.
-30- --Copy by Brian Kedzior