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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Women’s tennis shines at Hoosier Invitational

Winning 18 matches in its opening weekend at the Hoosier Invitational, the NIU women’s tennis team finished the weekend in Indiana with an 18-10 record between doubles and singles matches. 

Competing over three days, NIU faced opponents from around the Midwest, including Indiana University Bloomington, Purdue University, Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati and Miami University. 

Singles competition improved as the weekend went on, going 9-2 in singles matches on Saturday and Sunday after a 2-4 start on Friday. 

Sophomore Isabella Righi was undefeated in singles matches, winning straight set matches over the three days of competition. 

In her first match of the season, Righi defeated senior Sanjana Reddy from Cincinnati in 6-1 and 6-3 sets. Righi continued the momentum throughout the weekend, with wins over sophomore Montserrat Sierra from Miami (6-0, 6-2), and senior Blessing Nwaozuzu from Xavier (7-5, 6-4). 

Junior Reagan Welch lost her first match in 7-6 and 6-4 sets against Nwaozuzu on Friday, but rallied and won her other two matches, going on 2-1 on the weekend. 

Sophomores Jenna Horne and Nataly Ninova each went 2-1 on the weekend. Horne lost her first match against Miami’s Sierra in 6-2 and 6-4 sets, but went on to defeat junior Sarah Dev of Miami (6-4, 6-3) and Sanjana Reddy of Cincinnati (6-2, 6-4) in straight set wins. 

Ninova also lost her first match on Friday, going 6-3, 3-6 and 6-2 against Purdue junior Tara Katarina Milic. In 6-2, 5-7 and 6-2 sets, Ninova defeated Purdue sophomore Antonia Pareja on Saturday, and on Sunday defeated freshman Lauren Joyce of Miami in 6-3, 7-6 and 8-6 sets. 

NIU also succeeded in doubles matches with a 7-4 record for the weekend. 

NIU junior Erika Dimitriev and Ninova were undefeated, ending the tournament with a 4-0 weekend. In their first match on Friday, the duo won against Indiana freshmen Sarah L’allier and Li Hsin Lin, 8-7. They also defeated Sierra and Dev of Miami, 8-5. 

Continuing the success on Saturday, Dimitriev and Ninova beat Cincinnati freshmen pair Sakurako Watanabe and Gabrielle Guenther, 8-4. To finish the weekend, the pair saw an 8-3 win over Purdue sophomore Calissa Dellabarca and Milic. 

“I saw more aggressive play from us in doubles. Other than Nataly (Ninova) and Erika (Dimitriev), all the teams we tried were newer and hadn’t played much together,” said NIU head coach Eric Burns in an NIU Athletics press release. “Erika and Nataly going 4-0 was impressive. They beat some really good teams.” 

The season continues for the Huskies at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater Warhawk Invitational for an all-day event from Oct. 6 to Oct. 7 in Whitewater, Wisconsin. 

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