After a small taste of action at the Drake Invitational two weeks ago, the Northern Illinois woman’s tennis team is ready to take a bigger bite out of the competition at the DePaul Invitational this weekend in Chicago.
The women had some time away from game action to practice and continue to fine tune their skills. Head coach Ryun Ferrell used every second of that time to keep the minds of his young Huskies focused on what’s important.
“The time between meets is pretty valuable,” Ferrell said.
“My approach to things is so different than in years past. I just work them into the ground to where they just focus on two things – school and tennis. That’s it. When they come to practice they know whatever is going on in the day they have to turn it off and just get to work and we’re getting there on that approach.”
Super sophomores Nelle Youel (Crystal Lake, Ill/Crystal Lake Central) and Arantza De La Torre (San Luis Potosi, Mexico/Motolinia) both look to capture their second individual championships of the fall.
Meanwhile, the rest of the ladies look to build off of momentum from early success as well. Ferrell’s expectations for his talented group of sophomores are high.
“For my sophomores, I want to see a lot out of them and everyone else needs to take the next step…play higher than they ever have before. I just want to see progression because they are the future of the program.”
As the Huskies prepare for the likes of DePaul, Illinois State, UIC, Chicago State, Lewis, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee this weekend, Ferrell has planted a firm mindset for the team as they try to keep focus on the immediate task that’s ahead of them.
“I don’t want us to look beyond where we are because it’s a long season,” Ferrell said. “We’re far from playing our best tennis right now but we are playing as competitive of tennis as we can play and that’s what we want; that way that seed can only grow.”
For more information on NIU women’s tennis and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.