April 3, 2014
DeKALB, Ill. - The Huskies are back in MAC action this weekend. They'll travel to two conference opponents, looking to make some ground in the standings this spring. On Friday, April 4, they'll head to Bowling Green (6-6, 1-2 MAC) for a match at 1:00 p.m. On Saturday, April 5, they'll stop at Western Michigan (11-8, 0-3 MAC) for another 1:00 p.m. match. Both times are central.
Last weekend, NIU split two matches against MAC opponents. On Friday, March 28, the team picked up its first MAC victory of the season over Akron, 4-3. On Saturday against Buffalo, the Huskies fell 6-1. With those results, the team currently holds a 6-8 record with a 1-3 figure in the MAC.
Last week's 4-3 victory over Akron was much needed for the team. In 2013, the Huskies went winless in conference play. NIU started this year 0-2 in the MAC, but thanks to some tough play by the Huskies, they were able to edge out the Zips. The Huskies did so by getting the doubles point and wins in singles from Nelle Youel, Cristina Alvarez, and Stephanie McDonald. McDonald's match was the deciding factor, as she won a back-and-forth contest in the No. 6 to clinch victory for the Huskies.
The Bowling Green Falcons are 1-2 in the MAC this season just like the Huskies. As such, the winner of the match on Friday will move up in the standings. Katie Brozovich has the best individual record for the Falcons this spring. She had a rough fall season, going 5-10, but she has recovered nicely in 2014, posting an 8-4 record. All of her matches have been in the No. 3.
The Western Michigan Broncos have struggled thus far in MAC, producing an 0-3 record. This is not a team to be taken lightly however, as the Broncos went 11-5 in non-conference play this spring. Nini Sujashvili will likely take on Nelle Youel in the No. 1 singles match on Saturday. Sujashvili is 12-5 in No. 1 matches this spring.
After the match against Western Michigan, the Huskies will take a quick break from conference play. On Thursday, April 10, the NIU will face Cardinal Stritch at home. Barring weather interference, the match will be played on the outdoor courts at NIU at 1:00 p.m.