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Women’s tennis to greet new recruit next spring

October 20, 2011

Photo of tennis ballsThe Northern Illinois women’s tennis team added one more name to the 2011-12 roster today.

The newest Huskie, Stephanie McDonald, hails from Harare, Zimbabwe, and will join the team at the beginning of the 2012 spring semester.

McDonald will mark head coach Ryun Ferrell’s fifth international recruit on the roster this season.

“Steph McDonald is a very young and bright girl from Zimbabwe,” Ferrell said. “She will give us some more depth to our lineup, which is what I think our strength will be. Between No. 1 and No. 8, there isn’t going to be much difference between any of the players. Practice is going to be fun, exciting, and competitive.”

McDonald finished a stellar high-school career by helping St. Anne’s Diocesan College to their fourth consecutive conference championship.

The senior captain was named First Team All-Conference all four years and concluded her final season unbeaten at the No. 1 position in singles play. She won the Open School Championship in her final two seasons in doubles competition. McDonald was also ranked No. 1 in KwaZulu-Natal at the U-15 and U-19 levels. She competed successfully on the field hockey team as well, and led the team during her senior campaign to an undefeated record as well as conference, regional, and provincial tournament championships.

“She’s an all-around good kid that comes from a tennis background,” Ferrell said. “Her uncle played in the Davis Cup for Zimbabwe and her mother played college tennis in the United States. She’s an incredible athlete. She played goal keeper in field hockey and was really good. I’m excited to see what she can bring to the table.”

NIU wraps up its fall schedule Friday, Oct. 21 through Sunday, Oct. 23, at the ITA Second Chance Regional Tournament in Rockford, Ill.

For more information on NIU women’s tennis and Huskie athletics, visit