Women’s tennis wins at Drake Invitational

By Sean Anderson

Women’s tennis opened up its season with success in both doubles and singles at the Drake Invitational.

Friday, the Huskies concluded doubles with a total record of 5-4. Freshmen Cristina Alvarez and junior Haley Dekkinga were the highlights of the doubles matches.

They would eventually come out on top in the consolation title against the fellow NIU doubles team of sophomore Mary Malkin and junior Ilse Pacheco in a match that ended with a 9-7 decision.

The Huskies ended singles match play Friday, 10-2.

“They played with a lot of heart and intensity in the singles matches,” said coach Ryun Ferrell. “It wasn’t too fancy out there; we talk a lot about how you have to make three shots out there. They did that all day, which was nice. I’ve worked this team the hardest of all the teams I’ve coached. This team is probably going to hate me when the season is over because of how much we practice.”

In Flight A, sophomore Nelle Youel cruised through the field, winning her first match against Masa Smic of Wichita State and then her second match against Stephanie Petsis of North Dakota. Youel would go on to win the championship for her flight against Rebecca Pedrazzi of Wichita State.

“It was a good way to start the season with a win,” Youel said. “My win gives me pretty high confidence knowing how high I can play, but I still have to take each week as they come.”

Dekkinga, of Flight B, lost her opening match against Montse Fernandez of Wichita State. Dekkinga bounced back to win her second match against Hallie Welk of North Dakota. Dekkinga would go on to lose to Analese Snyder of Creighton and fail to move on to the consolation championship.

In Flight C, Malkin defeated Lindsay Weideman of Nebraska-Omaha and then Summer Schlotterback of Wichita State. Malkin lost to Mariel Ante of Drake for the championship for Flight C.

In Flight D, sophomore Arantza De La Torre won both of her two matches to advance to the championship match. Stephanie McDonald won her opening match but lost against Liz Vermillion of Creighton. De La Torre would go on to win the Flight D championship against Vermilion.

“We played really tough this weekend and really hard,” Ferrel said. “It wasn’t our best tennis by far, but definite some of our hardest and that is what we mainly work on and focused on was that.”