Women’s tennis earns 10th win of season

By Mike Romor

For the first time in Ryun Ferrell’s five years as coach, NIU women’s tennis picked up 10 wins in the regular season.

NIU (10-8, 1-3 MAC) split its two MAC matches over the weekend. After a 5-2 loss against Eastern Michigan (7-12, 3-1 MAC), NIU bounced back to claim a 4-3 home victory over Toledo (8-9, 1-3 MAC). The win snapped a 17-match skid in conference action that dated back to March 2010.

“The thing I told the team is, ‘look what we can do when we just slow down and execute,’” Ferrell said. “It was pretty impressive what they did. With four freshmen, a sophomore and a senior in the singles lineup, that was just great. We’re a young team and they battled hard, and I’m proud of them.”

Sophomore Haley Dekkinga was the lone Huskie to win in both of her singles contests over the weekend.

Dekkinga flattened EMU’s Ankita Bhatia 6-0, 6-1 at third singles before defeated Toledo’s Lexy Pitt 7-5, 6-2.

Dekkinga has played well since moving up from fourth singles. After 11-straight matches at fourth, Dekkinga has won three contests in a row at third, bringing her overall record to 11-6.

Two freshmen also won singles matches over the weekend. Nelle Youel won yet another match at second singles, giving her a team-leading 12 wins. At fifth singles, freshman Arantza De La Torre continues to impress Ferrell. Bouncing back from a sub-par match Friday, De La Torre showed her resilience.

After dropping her first set against Toledo, De La Torre prevailed by winning the final two sets 6-1, 6-1 to pick up her sixth win of the year. The win is the first singles win for her outside of the sixth spot in the lineup.

“She just played great,” Ferrell said. “It’s the best match that girl has played all year. She finally was able to come back from behind to win a match, which has been something she’s been struggling to do, so it was a good result and I’m proud of her effort.”