Women’s tennis goes two for two

By Rhema Rhea

Women’s tennis took to the home court this weekend with wins against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and Cleveland State.

The Huskies ended the weekend with a 2-0 record to make them 3-1 on the season.

On Friday, the Huskies took on SIUE, winning 4-3. Head coach Ryun Ferrell said he was happy with the win, but the Huskies have minor mistakes they have to clean up.

“We did not play the greatest,” Ferrell said. “But we played very hard and tough. This was a total team effort. We still have a lot of work to do. We still can be playing better. To get a win today, though, is great.”

The Huskies took the point thanks to efforts from their No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams. Juniors Nelle Youel and Arantza De La Torre remained unbeaten on the season in doubles play, as they won the No. 1 match against the Cougars’ Kali Donner and Monique Krutak in a 6-4 final.

Senior Haley Dekkinga and junior Stephanie McDonald claimed the No. 2 match against Mia Frogner and Sierra Halverson in a 6-2 effort.

McDonald and Cristina Alvarez both picked up wins in singles.

In Saturday’s game, NIU took on Cleveland State and won 4-3.

Due to the Vikings’ early season conference ranking, Ferrell was happy with the win over a quality opponent.

“They are picked to be third in the Horizon League this year,” Ferrell said. “They are also picked to have a shot at beating UIC, who has only lost one conference match in 16 years. It was a nice win.”

Doubles play got the ball rolling in the right direction for the Huskies as all three duos won their respective matchups.

In singles and doubles, Ferrell said NIU did not make the prettiest tennis plays, but got things done in the best way it could.

“We went out in doubles with a certain mentality and attitude,” Ferrell said. “It’s like a boxing match: We knocked them down, and then what we did was pretty much extended our hand, helped them back up and said, ‘Here, why don’t you take a couple hits at us?’ That just doesn’t work. When you knock somebody down you have to keep them down….”

For the first time this season, NIU doubles won each of its two matchups.

“It was a really great feeling,” Dekkinga said. “I think it was a definite confiden[ce] booster for everyone. We all needed that to win doubles and [to] know that we can do well in that. It was a huge booster for everyone knowing that we can all get through it together.

“I definitely feel that is going to carry over to our next matches because we did so well, and everyone is going to have more confidence in their game, and it’s going to keep improving because everyone clicked today in doubles. Everyone was on the same page and was positive. The fact that we all did that today is really a huge positive for our upcoming matches.”