Northern Illinois started its 2013 campaign impressively with a 6-1 win over Bradley on Friday afternoon at the Boylan Tennis Center. The win, fueled by a sweep in singles play, marks the first season opening triumph for sixth-year head coach Ryun Ferrell.
“In doubles we weren’t flat, just too hyped,” said Ferrell. “We didn’t execute very well in doubles. Bradley played great doubles, and I have to give them credit. In singles we settled down and got to work. That’s what we are good at. We made it physical and we like that. It was a good day in all, but we have a lot of work to do still. You don’t play normally play your best tennis in the first match but we’ll get back at it tomorrow and continue to improve.”
The doubles tandem of Nelle Youel (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central) and Arantza De La Torre (San Luis Potosi, Mexico/Motolinia) took the No. 1 match-up with an 8-4 win over BU’s Adele Henke and Corey Mattson. However, NIU’s No. 2 and No. 3 teams fell to give the Braves the doubles point.
Stephanie McDonald (Harare, Zimbabwe/St. Anne’s Diocesan College) and Mary Malkin (Tel Aviv, Israel/Alliance) lost 8-4 to Cassia Wojtalik and Sarah Rodefeld, while Haley Dekkinga (Allegan, Mich./Allegan) and Ilse Pacheco (San Luis Potosí, Mexico/Alma Patria) were beat by Kennedy Scott and Carly Miles 8-5.
The Huskies quickly regrouped to dominate singles play with six victories, five coming in straight sets. Youel took down Henke 6-1, 6-1 at the top of the lineup. Dekkinga won 6-4, 6-0 over Mattson at No. 2. De La Torre topped Rodefeld 6-1, 6-4 in the No. 3 slot. Malkin earned a 6-3, 6-3 decision against Elizabeth Przystawski at No. 4.
Cristina Alvarez (Zaragoza, Spain/Cristorey and Sagrado Corazon De Jesus) defeated Scott 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 6 spot. McDonald needed just a little longer to beat Wojtalik 6-5, 6-2 (7).
The Huskies immediately return to action tomorrow in Valparaiso, Ind. to face Western Illinois at 1 p.m. CT and Valparaiso at 5 p.m. to wrap up the first weekend of spring competition.