The Northern Illinois women’s tennis team made its first moves toward the 2012-13 season by signing Colombia’s Maria Rozo (Bogotá, Colombia/Gimnasio Femenino) and Spain’s Cristina Alvarez Moreno (Zaragoza, Spain/Sagrado Corazon de Jesus).
“I feel like we finally have the foundation laid for something really neat here, and these two will add to it,” said NIU head coach Ryun Ferrell.
Rozo will mark Ferrell’s first South American signee after also signing players from Isreal, Zimbabwe, Mexico, and Belgium over the previous three years. Alvarez Moreno is the first recruit from Spain during Ferrell’s tenure.
Rozo directed her team at the No. 1 position for four seasons on their way to a cumulative four-year record of 89-32. She posted three years of just one-loss tennis in singles play on her way to a total overall record of 39-5 during her high school career. Rozo also participated twice in the ITF Copa Ciudad De Bogotá, making it to the second round in 2010.
“Maria Rozo is an outstanding young women who hits the cover off the ball,” said Ferrell. “I think she will be a nice asset to this team. She’s not the prototypical player that I recruit because I like to get kids that keep the ball in play and she likes to finish the point, not outlast the point. It will be a little different for me to coach that type of style but I’m looking forward to it. She’s extremely smart and is an awesome kid.”
Alvarez Moreno has played in several tournaments of the Spanish Tennis Federation since 2006, including spending her first four years with the Zaragoza tennis team Club Deportivo Paraiso. She captured the U16 Regional Master title while at CDP in 2009. In 2011, she joined the Stadium Casablanca tennis club and won the U18 Montesori Championship.
“Cristina Alvarez Moreno is a super-smart kid,” Ferrell said.
“In Spain they grade on a 10-point system and she’s at a 9.5. To be that smart and be at the level of tennis she can play , something has to give. But she continues to be a very good player while keeping her academics first. I think once she gets into a place where she can actually train as much as she can get to train with us, she can just take off. They way she plays reminds me a lot of Nelle Youel – extremely athletic and can run any ball down, and comes from a good family.”
NIU will begin spring play at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28.
For more information on NIU women’s tennis and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.