Nov. 21, 2013
DeKALB, Ill. - NIU's women's tennis team has signed two more for the 2014-2015 season. Emily Stefancic (Sugar Grove, Ill./West Aurora Senior High School) and Jennifer Gates (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett High School) will be Huskies next fall, increasing the team size to 10 women to begin next season.
Of the two new Huskies, Stefancic was the first to sign her National Letter of Intent (NLI). She is a three-star recruit who has won 17 matches against players rated by TennisRecruiting.net. Stefancic holds a top-25 ranking among Illinois women's tennis players (21) and a top-75 ranking among the Great Lakes region (62).
During her entire high school career, the Sugar Grove, Ill. native has gone 109-35, and she has improved every year since her freshman year in high school, going from a top-50 showing at the Illinois State Championships in 2010 to a top-16 showing this fall, while also becoming sectional champ and the runner-up in DuPage Valley Conference Tournament this year. She has also acted as the team captain for her high school tennis team since the beginning 2012 season. In singles play, Stefancic has produced a 101-32 record.
Stefancic intends to major in Health Sciences/Pre-Physical Therapy at NIU. She has been involved in her community through her membership in the National Honor Society and Rebuild Toegether-Aurora. She has also volunteered her time to coach younger tennis players in the community.
Click here for a video of Emily Stefancic in action.
Jennifer Gates signed her NLI more recently, and she'll join the Huskies as a walkon next fall. Gates is another three-star recruit and she has an impressive 16-6 record against players rated on TennisRecruiting.net, including three wins against four-star recruits. Currently, she is ranked among the top 25 Illinois recruits (13) and among the top 50 Great Lakes region recruits (40).
Over the last year, Gates has been focusing primarily on her tennis skills, going as far as to skip some tournaments in the winter and spring of 2013. Between December 10, 2012 and May 1, 2013, the Bartlett, Ill. native played in just one tournament, the Wheaton Sports Center Spring Open in Wheaton, Ill. She won the event and did not drop a set in any of her three matches.
Gates was featured on the June 2013 edition of the Prince Hot 100, a list of tennis players who are playing outstanding tennis as of the date of the article. Click here to read about why she took time off from tournaments to hone her skills.