April 11, 2013
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's tennis team enters the home stretch of the 2013 regular season in search of its first Mid-American Conference victory as the Huskies go on the road to take on Toledo and Eastern Michigan this weekend. After posting a 14-2 record in non-conference play, the Huskies are 0-4 through the first half of league competition.
NIU (14-6, 0-4 MAC) takes on Toledo (7-11, 1-4 MAC) Friday at Noon (CT) in Toledo. The Rockets dropped 6-1 decisions at Miami and Ball State last weekend. The Huskies will play Eastern Michigan (7-12, 2-3 MAC) Saturday at Noon at the Claudia Wasik Tennis Complex (outside) or at the Chippewa Club (inside) depending on the weather. EMU lost at Miami (5-2) and defeated Ball State (5-2) last weekend. Live scoring of the EMU match is available by clicking here.
After playing 14 of 20 spring dual matches on the road, Northern Illinois took last weekend off. This weekend's action is the final road competition before the Mid-American Conference Tennis Championships April 26-28 in Muncie, Ind.
"Over the past two weeks we have been working so hard," said NIU Head Coach Ryun Ferrell. "[The MAC] is wide open this year. In years past there would be one team that would separate themselves from the rest of the pack, but that is not the case this year. There is no clear favorite. We have been playing better week by week and there is no quit in this team. I am very excited to see what this team will do this weekend. "
Northern Illinois' challenging schedule has not stopped No. 1 player Nelle Youel (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central HS) from posting one of the best seasons in school history. Youel is 18-2 this spring and has won 24 singles matches this season, which ranks tied for third all-time at NIU. Her 24 wins are the most singles wins by a Huskie women's player in 14 years, since Natacha Koprivica set the NIU single season record with 26 wins in 1998-99.
Youel is also 20-6 in doubles play this year, including a 16-4 mark this spring, while playing exclusively at the No. 1 doubles spot. Her combined 54 victories in singles and doubles have tied Koprivica for the Northern Illinois record for the most combined wins ever by a Huskie player in a season.
Northern Illinois will play its final two dual matches of the regular season at home next Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20, when the Huskies play host to Ball State and Miami. Matches start at 1 p.m. (CT) each day with the location at either the West Tennis Courts (outside) or the Boylan Tennis Courts (inside) in Rockford, Ill.
-- NIU --
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