Hurting Huskies travel to Iowa

By Alex Gary

NIU’s women’s tennis team will be facing adversity and stiff competition this weekend when it takes on Iowa and Nebraska.

“We’re hurting right now,” said NIU coach Patty Groth-Newbrough. “We’re down to six, maybe even five girls.”

The Huskies travel to Iowa on Friday to face the Hawkeyes, then face Nebraska Saturday at a neutral site.

Among the problems Groth-Newbrough’s squad has had include a car accident, which has sidelined a player for the year, and one recruit not coming back to school.

A third player, Ivana Nikolic, might not be eligible this weekend because she is having problems getting transcripts from her native Yugoslavia.

“It has taken over a month for (Nikolic’s) documents to get here because of the war,” Groth-Newbrough said.

Still Groth-Newbrough is optimistic. “There’s a very slight possibility to pull (victory) off with only five girls,” she said. “I just hope Ivana can go with us.”

Groth-Newbrough said the team is bearing up well under the adversity. “They all have pulled together really well,” she said.

If Nikolic does make the trip, Groth-Newbrough believes NIU has a good chance against both schools.

Two players the coach will be counting on are No. 1 singles player Jenny Karges and No. 2 player Sarah Murfey. Neither will have it easy, especially Karges. She will be playing Iowa’s Laura Dvorak who was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year with a 27-9 record last year.

Two years ago, NIU played against Nebraska and was defeated six matches to three, Groth-Newbrough said. NIU has not played Iowa in a few years but has competed against them in tournaments, usually breaking even, she said.