April 22, 2009
DEKALB, Ill. - The eighth-seeded Northern Illinois women's tennis team will look to advance to the quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference Championships for the second-consecutive year, when the Huskies take on No. 9 Ball State in the opening round of the tournament Thursday at the Keefe Tennis Courts in Bowling Green, Ohio. Start time is set for 11 a.m.
The Huskies' (6-15, 1-7 MAC) lone MAC win during the regular season came against host Ball State on March 20. The Huskies claimed the doubles point with wins at both the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles positions, along with victories at each of the top-three singles flights. Emily Rogers' lone singles loss at No. 5 singles in MAC play came against the Cardinals - she has since been elevated to the fourth singles position.
"I am really excited to watch our team play this week," said NIU head coach Ryun Ferrell. "We have certainly had an up-and-down season, but these kids have been a spirited bunch, and have kept fighting. Ball State will certainly be out to get us, after we beat them in Muncie earlier this season.
"Both teams played that match with a different lineup than what we'll go with (tomorrow). We have a lot more depth near the bottom of the lineup now. We're in a stable mindset right now, and are looking forward to the opportunity to compete in this tournament."
Ball State (5-13, 0-8 MAC) went winless in league play, but dropped two dual matches by a score of 4-3, including the contest against the Huskies. Georgina Thomson, the Cardinals' primary No. 5 singles player, boasts a team-high 10 singles wins on the season, including a 4-1 mark in MAC play. Kylee Johnson, slated at No. 3 singles, has added six singles victories in 2009.
If the Huskies advance to the quarterfinals, they will face top-seeded Miami Friday at 9 a.m. The RedHawks posted a 6-1 win over NIU in Oxford, Ohio, on March 21. Rogers recorded the Huskies' lone singles win in the match.
The matches in the MAC Championships will be played in a tournament format, with the first team reaching four points as the winner - the remainder of the matches will not be played out, as in a regular dual match format. Last season, the Huskies defeated Buffalo in the first-round, 4-1.