The Northern Illinois women’s tennis team is in Daytona, Fla., for two road matches against Bethune Cookman and Embry-Riddle over spring break.
The Huskies will take on Bethune Cookman at 1 p.m. CT Wednesday, March 14. They will follow it up with a contest against Embry-Riddle at 2 p.m. Friday, March 16.
NIU stands at 6-4 on the season with a win in their last match against Milwaukee on March 4.
The team has been carried by steady play from freshmen Nelle Youel (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central) and Mary Malkin (Tel Aviv, Israel/Alliance). Malkin started the season with seven straight victories and only one dropped set. Youel has put together a record of 7-3 while only dropping three sets over the 10-game span.
“Against Milwaukee, we played well, competed well,” said NIU head coach Ryun Ferrell after a warm, outdoor practice with the team.
“The girls need a break from the cold weather so this is kind of nice. Being in the heat, things are a little different. The girls are breathing better and are more relaxed. It’s nice to see. Both teams we play have some really good players. We are just seeing if we can keep this thing going. The kids come to work hard everyday and that’s nice. Even at a place like this, they get in the van and are focused, ready to work. For how hard they’ve worked so far this spring, they deserve this. I think the team will come back mentally ready to go for the second half.”
Doubles play has been a major factor in NIU’s success this season.
The Huskies own a 19-11 record on the year and have been led by the senior duo of Sara McLaughlin (Moline, Ill./Moline) and Emily Rogers (Rochester, Minn./Century), who have claimed five victories this year.
Also key to the team’s success have been sophomore Haley Dekkinga (Allegan, Mich./Allegan) and freshman Stephanie McDonald (Harare, Zimbabwe/St. Anne’s Diocesan College). The two have teamed up for an impressive record of 6-1 on the season.
For more information on NIU women’s tennis and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.