Huskies look to get in fall tourney

By Alex Gary

NIU’s women’s tennis team will be relying on the great DeKalb weather this weekend.

The team has the NIU Invitational Tournament scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the West Campus tennis courts. The Invitational will close out its fall schedule but only if the weather permits.

“If there is terrible weather, (the tournament) will be cancelled,” said NIU coach Patty Groth-Newbrough.

Groth-Newbrough said the chances the tournament will go off is not looking good. “The weather forecast (for the weekend) is really looking bleak,” she said.

“It’s really up to the coaches,” Groth-Newbrough added. “If (the other coaches) want to put their girls out there in bad weather, then we will, too.”

Groth-Newbrough said the decision about whether to play will be made Thursday night.

The other schools that are scheduled to compete are Chicago State University, DePaul University and Illinois State University. In addition, Illinois Valley Community College will send its top two players to compete.

Last year, NIU was highly successful in the Invitational—winning in every flight except No. 3 singles. This year, Groth-Newbrough expects more of the same.

“I feel NIU has the most talent and the most depth,” she said.

“It’s tough at the top; every school has talented girls,” Groth-Newbrough continued. “The middle of our lineup seems to be holding us up.”

Jami Cheek and Brenda Bowen are two players the coach singled out as playing very well of late.

Groth-Newbrough said the team will be given an additional boost by the addition of Ivana Nikolic. Nikolic has been ineligible all year because she has had problems getting official transcripts from her native Yugoslavia.

“I’m sure Ivana will make a substantial contribution,” she said.

NIU will be fielding a full squad for only the second time this season, Groth-Newbrough said. Team manager Tammy Morgan will help out the team by competing at No. 7 singles.

NIU goes into the tournament with a 1-2 fall record. DePaul comes in with a 2-0-1 record and ISU is 2-1. Play will begin, weather permitting, at 9 a.m.