Women’s tennis continues losing steak, falls twice over weekend

By Thomas Hiley

It was another tough weekend for the women’s tennis team (14-8, 0-6 MAC), as it comes off two losses from the Toledo Rockets (8-11, 2-4 MAC) and Eastern Michigan Eagles (8-12, 3-3 MAC) to make it the Huskies’ sixth straight loss in conference play.

Going up against the Rockets, the Huskies kept the match very close and only lost 4-3. In doubles, Nelle Youel and Arantza De La Torre were able to win their match 8-5 to start off strong. It turned out to be the only win the Huskies would get, with both the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams losing their matches 8-2 and 8-1.

“Doubles we didn’t play smart,” said head coach Ryun Ferrell. “All we need was one more singles and doubles [victory] and we could have won. If you win the doubles match you’re bound to win six times out of 10.”

In singles, Youel, De La Torre and Stephanie McDonald were able to win their matches, with De La Torre and McDonald winning in three sets. Even with the loss, something to be excited about is the success of Youel. Her victory against Katelyn Nguyen in singles increased her wins to 19 on the spring season, 25 for the year. Youel needs one more win to tie Natacha Koprivica for the NIU record for most singles wins in a year.

“Nelle Youel, she has turned my coaching career around,” Ferrell said. “She makes me want to just do a better job as a coach.”

With one more opportunity to get a conference win for the weekend, the Huskies went to face the Eagles and were not able to capitalize, losing 6-1.

The Huskies’ only win of the day came by the hand of Mary Malkin at the No. 3 spot in singles. She defeated Ankita Bhatia in three sets, 6-4, 0-6 and 10-1. Youel lost in three sets against Klara Supejova, 5-7, 6-2 and 10-8, and Haley Dekkinga lost to Nino Mebuke, 6-1 and 6-3. For doubles, the Huskies lost every match with the closet being from McDonald and Dekkinga, 8-7.

The Huskies have lost every match since the start of conference play. With only two more conference games left–against the Ball State Cardinals (13-10, 4-3 MAC) and Miami of Ohio (10-12, 6-1 MAC–this will be a very important week for NIU.

“We [have] got to keep pushing,;we’re not done yet,” Ferrell said. “Anybody can beat anybody on a given day. We’re right there with everybody.”