April 18, 2013
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's tennis team takes on Ball State and Miami at home this weekend looking to close out the 2013 schedule on a high note after one of the winningest campaigns in history.
NIU's 14 dual match wins this year are already the most by a Huskie women's tennis team since 1996-97 and are the sixth-most all-time. After narrowly missing the .500 mark last season with an 11-12 finish, Northern Illinois will finish the spring with a winning record for the first time since 2003.
The Huskies will take on Ball State (13-10, 3-3 MAC) Friday at 1 p.m. at the Boylan Tennis Courts in Rockford (4000 St. Francis Dr.) and will play league-leader Miami (10-12, 6-1 MAC) Saturday at 1 p.m. That match will be played either at Boylan or at the West Tennis Courts on the NIU campus, depending on the weather conditions.
Northern Illinois Head Coach Ryun Ferrell said although NIU is out of the conference race, his team is motivated.
"We are ready to finish strong," Ferrell said. "We are looking for that 15th win and add to our résumé for the all- conference ballots. This has been an amazing year and we want to end on a high note."
Huskie sophomore Nelle Youel (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central HS) needs one singles win this weekend to tie Natacha Koprivica for the most singles wins in a season at NIU. Koprivica set the record in 1989 with 26 wins, while Youel is 19-3 this spring and has won 25 matches this year. She is also third in combined (singles and doubles) victories in a season with 46 and could climb into second place on that list with three wins this weekend. Two of Youel's three losses have come in the third-set super tiebreaker.
With 21 singles victories this year, including 16 this spring, NIU's Mary Malkin (Tel Aviv, Israel/Alliance) also can break into the Huskies' Top 10 list for single season wins. She needs one win to move into a tie for ninth-place on the single season chart.
Northern Illinois does not have any seniors on its 2012-13 roster.
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