Dekkinga makes strong impression on team within 2 years


Women’s tennis sophomore Abigail Dekkinga prepares a swing in a 2014 practice. Dekkinga is up to 46 wins in her second season, helping to lead the Huskies in their 6-8 season.

By Danielle Brown

Women’s tennis sophomore Abigail Dekkinga has made a name for herself in two short years at NIU, following in the footsteps of Haley Dekkinga, her older sister who was a letter winner with the team from 2010-14.

The sophomore from Allegan, Mich. has a combined 46 wins in her career. She went 12-8 in her first fall season and 17-13 in the fall, emerging as one of the Huskies’ top players.

Haley Dekkinga, Abigail Dekkinga’s older sister, is one of 12 players in NIU’s 100-win club. Abigail Dekkinga is 54 wins away from tying her older sister at 100. The Huskies went 34-51 in Haley Dekkinga’s four seasons.

Q: Was tennis always a part of your life growing up?

A: Yes. I started playing when I was four years old. I lived in a small town that had a summer program. My older sister played at NIU [for] four years before I came so I followed in her footsteps. I am the youngest of four sisters and three of us play tennis.

Q: What does tennis mean to you?

A: I guess [it’s] my escape, where I solve life’s problems. Tennis helps me get through rough days, and helps days get better. I am really happy I have tennis.

Q: What were your expectations of playing at NIU before you came?

A: I knew it was going to be hard. My sister told me about her experience. I knew I had to work hard. I wanted to work as hard as I [could] and improve. Improvement is most important.

Q: How close were those expectations to the actual reality of it?

A: I can’t fail at working hard. No matter what I will work hard. It was realistic, I knew my hard work would pay off.

Q: How have your teammates helped you grow as a player on and off the court?

A: This is the most international relations I have ever had. It is cool that we come from all parts of the world and come together as a team.

Q: Do you have any tennis goals you’d like to achieve before you graduate?

A: I’d like to make fall regionals and… I want to be more well-rounded in singles and doubles, not just good at one and not the other.

Q: What do you wish to leave behind on NIU tennis?

A: I wish to leave behind a hard working culture. Last year’s seniors were very hard working so, like them, I want to leave an environment that focuses on getting better.