Netters split in Milwaukee

NIU’s women’s tennis team went to Milwaukee with visions of a sweep dancing in their heads.

The Huskies started on the right foot with a Saturday 6-3 win against Memphis State University, but Sunday, the visions were blurred as NIU dropped a 7-1 decision to annual rival Marquette University.

Saturday, NIU started with wins in the first two matches. Sarah Murfey beat Carri Britt in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1 singles. Hild Andersch followed with a 6-2, 6-2 win over the Tigers’ Yvonne Zaballa at No. 2. NIU also got singles triumphs from Jami Cheek and Breda Dean at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively. To wrap up the team win, the No. 1 doubles team of Cheek and Dean dominated in a 6-1, 6-3 victory. Murfey and Brenda Bowen finished the scoring for the Huskies with a hard fought 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) win at No. 3 doubles.

After Saturday’s win, NIU was looking forward to taking on its rival from the north, the Marquette Warriors. Murfey started things out well again with a 6-2, 6-4 win.

The Huskies then suffered four consecutive straight-set defeats in singles before Bowen took the second set in her 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 loss at No. 6.

“Marquette is one of our biggest rivals and we played at their home court in front of tons of fans. They beat us soundly and we lost some key matches in singles,” reflected NIU coach Patty Groth. “Cheek and Dean played a great doubles match against two Marquette veterans.”