The Northern Illinois women’s tennis team will play host to Eastern Illinois in its first home match of the spring season on Sunday.
The Huskies (4-2) will face the Panthers (1-2) indoors at the Rockford Clock Tower Resort at 1 p.m.
“We just want to get to work,” said NIU head coach Ryun Ferrell.
“Keep it simple and make it happen. That’s all, nothing fancy. It’s great to be at home, even though it’s off campus. It’s nice to be in your own bed on Friday; nice to not have to be anywhere and that we aren’t playing three matches in a weekend. The girls will be ready to work.”
NIU is off to their best start since the 2006-07 season, which was Ferrell’s first season as a Huskie, and has been carried by strong performances by freshmen Mary Malkin (Tel Aviv, Isreal/Alliance) and Nelle Youel (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central) and sophomore Haley Dekkinga (Allegan, Mich./Allegan).
Malkin has been nearly perfect for the Huskies this season, compiling a 6-0 record while not dropping a set since the first match against Drake. Youel and Dekkinga have both put together 4-2 seasons while winning each of their last two matches.
Doubles has been the focal point of NIU’s hot start, as they have run off a mark of 12-6. Anchoring the doubles play has been the experienced duo of Sara McLaughlin (Moline, Ill./Moline) and Emily Rogers (Rochester, Minn./Century). The seniors are 4-2, having won their last four matches in a row.
The tandem of Arantza De La Torre (San Luis Potosi, Mexico/Motolinia) and Malkin have blown past the competition on their way to a 2-0 start. Also off to a 2-0 start of its own is the team of Dekkinga/Youel, which also finished the fall season 7-2.
For more information on NIU women’s tennis and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.