Groth’s tennis team stepping in the right direction early on

By Todd McMahon

So far so good for coach Patty Groth and her NIU women’s tennis squad.

Four matches are in the book this season, and the Huskies have roared out to a 3-1 start against a strong slate. It’s this good beginning that should help Groth’s crew as they prepare for yet another brutal weekend.

After defeating Big Ten member Purdue 5-2 on Feb. 1, the Huskies were able to take two-of-three matches in three days last weekend at the Aurora Tennis Club.

Leading the charge, to this point, for the Huskies are the Nos. 3 and 4 singles players, Natalija Todorovic and Jami Cheek. Both upped their records to 4-0 in singles play with wins in NIU’s only loss of the year, 5-2 to Iowa State on Sunday.

No. 1 singles player, Sara Murfey, is 3-1 on the year, with her only defeat coming at the hands of Iowa State’s Susanne Pullman (5-7, 6-1, 2-6).

Brenda Bowen, at the No. 6 slot, also has a 3-1 overall record, losing only to the Cyclones’ Jen Lansing (4-6, 6-4, 1-6).

In doubles action, the No. 1 team of Cheek and Breda Dean have a 2-1 record, with the victories coming against their counterparts from Toledo and Gustavus Adolphus College.

The No. 3 team of Murfey and Bowen are a perfect 2-0, with wins coming against Toledo and Gustavus Adolphus, also.

“The girls are progressing and are competing at a level I am pleased with,” Groth said.

The Huskies will be looking to progress even further when they hit the road for three matches, beginning Thursday at the University of Illinois.

NIU then heads to Milwaukee for matches against Memphis State Saturday and host Marquette on Sunday.