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Women’s tennis top Eastern Illinois for fifth win

February 12, 2012
Sara McLaughlin

Sara McLaughlin

The Northern Illinois women’s tennis team continued its fantastic start to the season Sunday by defeating Eastern Illinois 6-1 at the Boylan Tennis Center.

The 5-2 mark by the Huskies is the best start for the team in nearly a decade.

“We battled well today,” said NIU head coach Ryun Ferrell. “We just went to work. It was nothing fancy. Just good ol’ fashioned, blue collar, nose-to-the-grind stone work. It was a nice effort.”

While the win wasn’t fancy, the play of freshman sensation Mary Malkin (Tel Aviv, Isreal/Alliance) has been to start the spring season. Malkin is off to a 7-0 start after defeating Eastern’s Kristen Laird, 6-0, 6-4, and hasn’t dropped a set since the Huskie’s first match against Drake.

Grinding out her fourth win of the year was senior Sara McLaughlin (Moline, Ill./Moline), who took down the Panther’s Merritt Whitley, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4. Freshmen Nelle Youel (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central) and Arantza De La Torre (San Luis Potosi, Mexico/Motolinia) both earned victories over Janelle Prisner and Annie Egan, respectively. The wins were Youel’s fifth and De La Torre’s fourth on the season.

Also picking up a singles victory on Sunday was sophomore Haley Dekkinga (Allegan, Mich./Allegan) after squeaking by EIU’s Amanda Dibbs by a score of 7-6, 6-5. The victory marked Dekkinga’s fifth of the year.

The doubles play of the Huskies continued their amazing start while posting their third straight match without losing a set. The tandem of McLaughlin and Emily Rogers (Rochester, Minn./Century) took down the Panther’s team of Whitley/Prisner, 8-2.

Earning their third straight win of the season, the duo of Youel/De La Torre defeated their Eastern Illinois counterpart of Dibbs/Laird by a mark of 8-4. Also winning their third match in a row were partners Stephanie McDonald (Harare, Zimbabwe/St. Anne’s Diocesan College) and Dekkinga. They won over Kim/Egan 8-2 to cap the Huskie victory.

The Huskies make their next appearance on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 1 p.m. CT in Carbondale, Ill., against Arkansas State. They will match-up with the Salukis of Southern Illinois on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 10 a.m.

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