Women’s tennis falls to Akron and Buffalo

By Thomas Hiley III

The women’s tennis team started off its conference play on the losing end, dropping its first two conference games to Akron and Buffalo.

The Huskies (14-4, 0-2 MAC) played two-time defending champions Akron (11-6, 1-0 MAC) for their first match of conference play and lost 7-0. The Huskies lost all three matches for doubles with the closest match being 8-5 with No. 2 pairing Haley Dekkinga/Stephanie McDonald losing to Angelina Jogasuria/Madison Cohen.

Nelle Youel, the Huskies’ No. 1 player in singles, couldn’t come with a victory, losing to Jogasuria in three sets: 7-6, 6-7 and 10-3. That ended her winning streak at 16.

“There is nothing to do about this loss but just help [the team] get back,” said coach Ryun Ferrell. “This is a very young team and things like this are just going to happen.”

Going into the Huskies’ second conference match against the Buffalo Bulls (10-0, 1-0 MAC), things didn’t get better: NIU lost 6-1. Buffalo won out in doubles, taking all three matches. The Bulls could have swept the Huskies with six wins in singles, but Mary Malkin defeated Laura Fernandez in four sets, 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 and 11-9, to give the Huskies their only win of the day.

“We looked sluggish out their, but I’m not trying to make excuses,” Ferrell said. “If we [had] done what [we’ve] normally been doing we could have won [against Buffalo] but Nelle and Haley both had an off day.”

With two games out the way and six more to go, the Huskies are on the outside looking in with a 0-2 conference record in the MAC. Ferrell and NIU can look at mistakes and learn from them.

“Looking at it, we haven’t had a bad week this season, but had it during our first matches for conference,” Ferrell said. “You are going to learn a lot from a loss. We didn’t know much about what needed to be done because we kept winning [this season].”

Looking at how the team preformed this weekend, Ferrell said the Huskies may try and switch up some of the doubles pairings to regain momentum.

Despite getting off to a poor start in conference, Ferrell believe the Huskies can still make up some ground in their upcoming matchups against Bowling Green State University (12-2) and Western Michigan (9-9).

“We’re not worrying about the losses,” Ferrell said. “We are not clicking on the panic button just yet we still have six more games to play.”