Women’s tennis goes winless over weekend


By Mike Romor

Opening MAC play this weekend, NIU women’s tennis failed to win a match.

NIU (7-7, 0-2 MAC) lost 7-0 to Western Michigan (12-7, 1-0 MAC) Friday before falling to Bowling Green (5-5, 1-0 MAC) by the same score Saturday.

In a matchup that lasted over five hours, the Huskies fought hard against the Broncos, but failed to catch any breaks.

“I think we played fine,” said NIU coach Ryun Ferrell. “Against Western Michigan, they’re kind of the standard of the league and we looked great against them. We played them inside which is in their favor. They’re a very good indoor team. We’re more of an outdoor, slow, grinding type of team which is tough to do inside against them.”

At fourth singles, NIU’s Haley Dekkinga almost came away with the lone win of the weekend. After dropping her first set 6-2, Dekkinga roared back and fought through a tiebreak to even up the match. Dekkinga ultimately lost the super-tiebreaker, 12-10, to end her day.

Broncos coach Betsy Kuhle notched her 500th career victory over the weekend, making her only the second coach in Western Michigan athletics history to reach 500 wins, and just the third active MAC coach to do so in any sport.

“It makes you think of all the people that have contributed to those 500 wins,” Kuhle said in a press release. “It really pleased me to see that [former WMU head men’s tennis coach] Jack Vredevelt was here today; he was probably there for my first win, and today he was here for my 500th.”

Traveling from Michigan to Ohio, the Huskies once again started off slow against Bowling Green. After being swept in doubles action, however, NIU showed life in singles.

Although they dropped all their singles matches, the Huskies put up good showings throughout the lineup.

At second singles, freshman Nelle Youel started off strong and won her first set, 6-4. The tide of the match changed in the second set, as Youel ended up on the other side of a 6-4 decision that was followed by another lost super-tiebreaker.

The Huskies also lost a pair of three-setters at fifth and sixth singles.

“We started off really slow and it drove me nuts,” Ferrell said. “After a few inspirational words, after the doubles point, we played like we could. The tough thing is that we’re just coming up short, which is just no fun.”