Tennis squad puts perfect Big Ten mark on line

By Brian Wiencek

With Patty Groth’s women’s tennis team traveling Thursday evening to face the University of Illinois, one has to think of the Huskies’ match on Feb. 1 against the Purdue Boilermakers. After all, all of the Big Ten teams are the same. Right?

Earlier this year, NIU defeated Big Ten power Purdue by the mark of 5-2. Now, the Huskies bring their 1-0 Big Ten record on the road to Champaign-Urbana for a 5 p.m. confrontation with another Big Ten squad—the Fighting Illini and their overall record of 1-0.

“The fact that they beat Purdue is a tribute to her (Groth) and her program,” said Illini women’s tennis coach Jennifer Roberts. “Patty Groth has done a great job.”

Two undefeated records will be on the line tonight for the Huskies, as singles players Natalija Todorovic and Jami Cheek both try to improve their 4-0 season ledgers. Also, the doubles team of Sara Murfey and Brenda Bowen will try to keep their 2-0 record unblemished.

Other players Groth will be counting on include the doubles team of Cheek and Breda Dean (2-1) and singles players Murfey (3-1) and Bowen (3-1) will give the Illini some problems.

Though the Illini have no seniors on their team, Roberts and her club lacks no talent. The Huskies will have to go up against the likes of juniors Mary Beth Williams and Linda Galeo.

“I have a lot of respect for Northern Illinois,” said Roberts, “and we look forward to playing them. You can always count on them to give you a tough match.”

After tonight’s matchup, the Huskies will continue to play on the road this weekend at Milwaukee against the Memphis St. Tigers and the Marquette Warriors.