March 27, 2014
DeKALB, Ill. - NIU's women's tennis team will be at home this weekend, continuing MAC play this spring. On Friday, March 28, the Huskies will host the Akron Zips (10-9, 0-2 MAC) at 1:00 p.m. On Saturday, March 29, they'll host the Buffalo Bulls (10-3, 1-1 MAC) for a contest at 4:00 p.m. Both will be held at the Boylan Tennis Center in Rockford, Ill.
Last weekend, the Huskies kicked off MAC play in 2014. They played two MAC foes on the road to start conference play. First up was Ball State. On Friday, March 21, the Huskies fell to the Cardinals, 6-1. NIU then traveled to Miami (Ohio) to face the Redhawks. They fell there as well in a 6-1 final. The losses dropped NIU's record to 5-7 this season with a 0-2 MAC record.
Nelle Youel was recognized by the MAC for the second consecutive week for her efforts in the two matches over the season. She won MAC Player of the Week once again, the fifth time in her career that she has taken the honor. Youel defeated Ball State's Courtney Wild, 6-3, 6-3 on Friday. She followed that with a 6-3, 7-5 win against Nimisha Mohan on Saturday. Youel is 8-4 this spring singles play.
The Akron Zips have had their struggles as of late, losing six of their last seven. This includes losses against MAC opponents Toledo and Eastern Michigan. Brandon Padgett heads the coaching staff for a fourth year. Padgett is the first Akron coach in program history to steer the team to the MAC Tournament, doing so in both 2011 and 2012.
The Buffalo Bulls started MAC play last weekend with two very close matches. On Friday, they lost to Eastern Michigan, 4-3. The Bulls rebounded with a 4-3 win against Toledo on Saturday. Tanvi Shah has been excellent for the Bulls this season. She is 8-3 in No. 1 singles matches this spring.
After Saturday, the Huskies' next match will be on the road. They'll head to Bowling Green for a match at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 4.