Women’s tennis looks to pull an upset over the Rockets, Eagles

By Thomas Hiley III

With four more games to go in the conference for the women’s tennis team, it’s going to be crucial for NIU to get a win this weekend against the Toledo Rockets (7-11, 1-4 MAC) and Eastern Michigan Eagles (7-12, 2-3 MAC).

The Huskies (14-6, 0-4 MAC) are coming off recent losses from Bowling Green (14-3, 3-2 MAC) and Western Michigan (11-10, 4-1 MAC). NIU was able to get a breather, though, having the previous week off to learn a few things from the loss.

“One of my captains wanted to practice on Friday and Tuesday instead of just hitting, and it’s been nice for them [the team] to take on the challenge,” said head coach Ryun Ferrell. “The intensity in practice has been high, and if it was any higher I would be worried and run away.”

The Huskies had done well until the start of conference play. With four straight losses, Ferrell has picked up a few things that need to be worked on for his team to be successful.

“[We] need to do what we need to do, which we have done 14 times, but we kind of forgot how to do it,” Ferrell said. “We [are] trying another doubles team [this week]. We’re going with Ilse Pacheco. We’re going to give her a shot in doubles and see what she can do.”

Heading into the matchup, the Rockets and the Eagles both have at least one win in conference but don’t have as many overall wins as the Huskies. Even with the opponents’ poor record, Ferrell isn’t taking them lightly.

“My team, we’re pretty consistent,” Ferrell said. “Toledo being young, they [have] been inconsistent; same thing for Eastern Michigan. But if they show up to play its going to be a long day.”

Even with conference coming down to the wire and the Huskies still not having a single MAC win, Ferrell isn’t too worried. He knows the Huskies have plenty of time, and sooner or later NIU will find the reason behind its recent slump.

“It’s not so cut and dry,” Ferrell said. “We don’t have that team that’s going to win [all the time], we’re in it until the last game. I’m going to give them every chance to be successful and just see what happens. The shoes are fine but we just need to polish them.”