Youel sets NIU wins record as women’s tennis falls to Miami, team closes season with 14 W’s

Nelle Youel
Nelle Youel

Northern Illinois sophomore Nelle Youel completed the most successful season in NIU women’s tennis history with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Miami’s Nimisha Mohan at No. 1 singles Saturday at the Boylan Tennis Courts in Rockford, as the Huskies closed out 2013 with a 5-2 loss to the league-leading Redhawks.

Youel’s win was her 27th singles win of the year, giving her sole possession of the Northern Illinois record and breaking the mark set by Natacha Koprivica in 1988-89.

Youel also teamed with Arantza De La Torre to post a 8-3 win at No. 1 doubles to win her 23rd doubles match of the year, the most by a Huskie since Monica Larson won 24 matches in 1989-90.

Her 23 doubles wins rank fourth on the NIU single season doubles wins list. Her 50 total victories this year rank second only to Koprivica’s 54 in 1988-89.

“I’m so happy that Nelle was able to get the [singles] record,” said NIU head coach Ryun Ferrell. “She deserves it with the way she has played this year. She is one of the best players in the MAC, and now she’s proven that she is one of the best players in NIU women’s tennis history.”

Youel finished the 2012-13 campaign 27-5 overall, including a 21-3 mark this spring. Two of her three losses came in a third-set super tie-breaker. In doubles, playing primarily with De La Torre, she posted a 19-5 record this spring and was 23-7 on the year.

Haley Dekkinga
Haley Dekkinga

NIU No. 2 player Haley Dekkinga claimed the second point for Northern Illinois Saturday with a three-set (6-2, 3-6, 6-3) win over Alix Thurman. The Huskies’ No. 5 and 6 players – Cristina Alvarez and Stephanie McDonald – both fell 7-5 in the second set and had chances to send those matches into a third set.

“We had some chances to put the pressure on and really tighten up the match,” Ferrell said. “It’s a shame the season is over because we’re playing really well right now. I wish we had about three more weeks. We’ve got a young team with everyone coming back next year and we’re excited about the direction we’re going. The future is bright and I can’t wait for next year.”

The Huskies close out the spring dual match season with a 14-10 record, the first winning season by a Northern Illinois women’s tennis team since 2002-03. NIU’s 14 dual match wins were the most by a Northern Illinois team in 16 years, since the 1997 squad won 15 matches.

Miami clinched the MAC regular season title with Saturday’s win and goes into the conference tournament seeded first at 11-12 overall, 7-1 in the MAC.

For more information on NIU women’s tennis and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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