Dec. 3, 2009
DEKALB, Ill. -
Fourth-year Northern Illinois head women's tennis coach Ryun Ferrell added two more players to his 2010-2011 roster, with the official signings of Haley Dekkinga and Ilse Pacheco to National Letters of Intent. Both players will have four years of eligibility at NIU beginning in the 2010 fall semester.
"We're extremely happy about this recruiting class, and the abilities that they bring to the table," said Ferrell. "They are both very smart players that love to keep the ball in play and wear opponents down. That's how we've focused our recruiting in recent years. Both Haley and Ilse will be key additions to our program, and we're glad to make them Huskies."
Dekkinga is in her senior year at Allegan High School in Allegan, Mich., where she plays for head coach Jennifer Aldrich. Currently ranked as the No. 10 player in Michigan and 281st nationally by TennisRecruiting.net, Dekkinga has earned Division 3 First Team All-State honors all three years in high school.
"Haley is fast, competitive, and plays all over the court," Ferrell said. "She reminds me a lot of Brittni Fausett, who is a freshman in our program this season, and had a great fall season. Haley plays with a ton of energy, and that becomes infectious. She is the type of player we want to have lead our program, and the fact that she signed here really shows that things are heading in the right direction."
The 5-foot-7 left-hander is a three-time, No. 1 singles conference champion and holds the school record for 6-0, 6-0 decisions (15) in a season. Voted team captain for the 2009-10 season by her teammates, Dekkinga has helped guide Allegan to three-straight conference championships, a regional championship and two state runner-up finishes. With Dekkinga slotted at the No. 1 singles position, Allegan is undefeated in conference play over the last three seasons.
Dekkinga was voted team MVP for her junior season after posting a 25-5 overall record and helping Allegan finish fourth in state. She also made an impressive run to the MHSAA state semifinals and was named one of the "Top 5 players" to watch for the 2009-10 season in Western Michigan by the Kalamazoo Gazette.
A three-time All-State Academic selection, Dekkinga is a member of the National Honor Society and has made the Honor Roll every semester with a 4.0 grade-point-average. She plans to study Pre-Med at NIU and hopes to be a physician's assistant.
Pacheco, a native of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, currently attends Colegio Alma Patria de San Luis and stars for Club Deportivo Potosino. The 18-year-old Pacheco, whose father Carlos played tennis at the University New Orleans from 1981-1985, recently won the 2009 San Luis Potosí state crown. In addition, the right-hander was one of 16 players in Mexico to participate in the 2009 National 21-and-under tournament.
"Ilse is going to add great depth to our team," Ferrell said. "She loves to keep the ball in play, and has some really valuable experience playing internationally. She graduated from high school in 2009, so she'll be coming in with a little more maturity and tennis knowledge than your average freshman.
"Ilse plays a lot like (current assistant coach) Ivonne Andrade Ovalle and that certainly bodes well for us, because Ivonne was a great college player in her time at NIU."
Pacheco made the round of 16 in qualifying for the 2008 Jalisco Junior Cup and participated in the International Tennis Federation's 2007 Junior Cup. As a 15-year-old, Pacheco made two straight runs to the finals of the San Luis Potosí state tournament from 2006-2007 and won the 16 and under crown in 2006.
Pacheco, who admires Roger Federer, is a currently a member of the Racquet Club at Club Deportivo Potosino and has taught the bible to underprivileged youth since 2007.