The UIC women’s tennis team started out strong by claiming the doubles point and went on to take five of six hotly contested singles matches to halt Northern Illinois’ winning streak at nine with a 6-1 win at the Boylan Tennis Courts in Rockford.
The victory extended the Flames’ winning streak to seven matches and improved their record to 7-1 on the season. Northern Illinois fell to 12-2 with the loss, its first since Feb. 3.
The Huskies’ troubles started in doubles as the Flames won all three matches. At No. 1 doubles, UIC’s Haley Craig and Mariana Palacios recorded an 8-7 victory to hand NIU’s Nelle Youel and Arantza De La Torre their first loss of the spring.
Youel earned a measure of revenge in singles, scoring a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 comeback win over Craig at the No. 1 spot to keep her undefeated singles record intact at 14-0.
Alvarez dropped the third set to Jana Knoppe of UIC in a 6-3, 0-6, 6-3 loss while Dekkinga fell to the Flames’ Natalia Kuvakina in a 10-7 super tie-breaker.
Northern Illinois No. 4 player Mary Malkin fell just short of forcing a third set, falling to Kathryn Sharples 6-3, 7-6.
Despite the loss, NIU head coach Ryun Ferrell was pleased with his team’s effort and the multiple close matches.
“Give UIC credit, but we came out of the gate so slowly today,” Ferrell said.
“I think playing as well as we did gives us a lot of confidence going forward. We need to have more discipline in the beginning of the match so we are not playing from behind. It was a solid day, but it also shows us there is a lot more work to be done.”