Huskie women netters aim for national berths

By Marc Wesner

Although the fall season has concluded for most of the NIU women’s tennis squad, three of its members have been invited to participate in post-season play this weekend.

Jenny Karges, Sarah Murfey and Svetlana Nedeljkovic have earned the honor of representing NIU in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association/Rolex Invitational held at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.

The first serve is scheduled for noon today, and play will conclude on Sunday.

Karges and Murfey will be trying to overcome their opposition in the singles bracket, while Murfey teams up with Nedeljkovic to compete for the doubles crown. Neither feat will be accomplished easily.

“There are no slouchy players there, a lot depends on the draw,” said NIU head coach Patty Groth-Newbrough. “If we get a tough draw we’ll have to play hard right off the bat. It’ll be very tough and competitive.

“If we get a fair draw, then we will be there for a while. If we draw one of the top seeds it could be tough, but these (NIU) players are fighters.”

The stakes are rather high. The top four finishers in the tourney automatically qualify for the NCAA National Tournament.

NIU’s most promising player this weekend is Karges, who posted a 6-4 singles record during the fall season as the Huskies’ top netter.

“Jenny is our No. 1 player,” Groth-Newbrough said. “She rarely makes mistakes, which helps in a tournament like this.

“She has a good chance and is probably our best shot at going (to the NCAA tourney).”

“I’m really proud of them for making it and hopefully we can make it into a long tournament,” Groth-Newbrough added.

As for the rest of the team, they have earned the right to rest after an excellent finish to their season.

Court action resumes Jan. 26 when the Huskies roll into Evanston to take on Northwestern.