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Youel aces weekly MAC women’s tennis honor

April 25, 2013
Nelle Youel

Nelle Youel

Nelle Youel of the Northern Illinois women’s tennis team has been honored as the Mid-American Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Week for the third time this season, the league office announced Wednesday.

Youel, a sophomore from Crystal Lake, Ill. (Crystal Lake Central HS) who plays No. 1 singles and doubles for the Huskies, completed the most successful season in Huskie women’s tennis history with four wins last weekend.

She earned a pair of straight set wins at No. 1 singles over opponents from Ball State and Miami, and added two doubles wins (along with partner Arantza De La Torre) at No. 1 doubles. Her 6-4, 6-0 win over Miami’s Nimisha Mohan was her 27th singles win of the year, giving her sole possession of the Northern Illinois record and breaking the mark set 24 years ago by Natacha Koprivica in 1988-89.

Youel also won her 22nd and 23rd doubles match of the year, the most by a Huskie since Monica Larson won 24 matches in 1989-90, to move into fourth place on the NIU single season doubles wins list. Her 50 total victories this year (fall and spring) rank second only to Koprivica’s 54 in 1988-89.

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.

Youel was previously selected the MAC Women’s Tennis Player of the Week on January 30 and March 6. NIU claimed the women’s tennis weekly award an unprecedented four times this spring as junior Haley Dekkinga was the MAC Player of the Week on February 13.

Northern Illinois closed 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.

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