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Women’s tennis reaches uncharted territory

March 14, 2013
Nelle Youel

Nelle Youel

With its 14th dual-match win of the season – a 7-0 victory over Emporia State in Emporia, Kan. Wednesday – the 2013 Northern Illinois women’s tennis team has reached uncharted territory.

In raising its record to 14-2 on the season, NIU has now won more dual matches than any Huskie team in the last 15 years, since the 1997 Huskies posted a 15-9 mark.

The milestone surprised NIU head coach Ryun Ferrell.

“I had no idea, but I’m tickled as punch for the team,” Ferrell said. “This group deserves it, they’ve worked hard, stayed focused and they hate losing more than they like winning, which is tremendous. They’ve been challenged and they’ve met it head on. All the credit goes to the team and we just want to keep it going as we head into conference play.”

In its first outdoor match of the spring, NIU was not affected by the elements as the Huskies swept the Hornets in both singles and doubles. No. 1 player Nelle Youel (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central) kept her unblemished record intact with her 16th straight singles win, and her teammates at the No. 2 through 6 singles spots likewise notched straight set victories.

Northern Illinois also won all three doubles matches, with 8-4 wins at both No. 1 and No. 3 and an 8-2 win from Haley Dekkinga and Stephanie McDonald at No. 2 doubles.

“For our first match outside, we looked all right,” Ferrell said. “ESU is well-coached and came out of the gates fast. We played tough and did what we do. It was nice to see and a good match to get ready for conference.”

NIU closed out non-conference play and will now play eight straight matches against Mid-American Conference opponents to close out the regular season, beginning Friday, March 22 at Akron.

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