Top 10 athletes: #3


Sophomore Nelle Youel returns a serve on March 29 in a match against Bowling Green University.

By Jacob Onak

Coming in at the No. 3 in the Northern Star’s top 10 athlete list is women’s tennis No. 1 player, Nelle Youel.

Youel, who is a sophomore, broke the NIU record for most singles wins in a season as she grabbed her 27th win on April 20. The Crystal Lake native was selected as a first team all-MAC member, the first Huskie to do it since Branka Savic in 2002.

Youel is also the first women’s tennis player to either make the first or second MAC team since Jenny Edner was named second team all-MAC in 2006.

The Crystal Lake native finished her first season as NIU’s No. 1 with a 21-3 spring record, 27-5 overall. The team as a whole finished 14-10 and 0-8 in conference play in the spring.

Youel said she will use this year to keep motivated for the next.

“…First of all it’s an honor to be selected as one of the top 10 athletes at NIU,” Youel said. “The season personally for me I think I was just more blessed than anything, having the season that I did my first year playing No. 1 for NIU. I’m just proud and motivated to keep working hard for next and hope to keep representing NIU and women’s tennis in a good way.”