ROCKFORD – Northern Illinois started its 2013 campaign impressively with a 6-1 win over Bradley on Friday afternoon at Boylan Tennis Center. The win, fueled by a sweep in singles play, marks the first season opening triumph for sixth-year Head Coach Ryun Ferrell.
“In doubles we weren’t flat, just too hyped,” said Ferrell. “We didn’t execute very well in doubles.Bradley played great doubles, and I have to give them credit. In singles we settled down and got to work. That’s what we are good at. We made it physical and we like that. It was a good day in all, but we have a lot of work to do still. You don’t play normally play your best tennis in the first match but we’ll get back at it tomorrow and continue to improve.”
The doubles tandem of Nelle Youel and Arantza De La Torre took the No. 1 match-up with an 8-4 win over BU’s Adele Henke and Corey Mattson. However, NIU’s No. 2 and No. 3 teams fell to give the Braves the doubles point. Stephanie McDonald and Mary Malkin lost 8-4 to Cassia Wojtalik and Sarah Rodefeld, while Haley Dekkinga and Ilse Pacheco were beat by Kennedy Scott and Carly Miles 8-5.
The Huskies quickly regrouped to dominate singles play with six victories, five coming in straight sets. Youel took down Henke 6-1, 6-1 at the top of the lineup. Dekkinga won 6-4, 6-0 over Mattson at No. 2. De La Torre topped Rodefeld 6-1, 6-4 in the No. 3 slot. Malkin earned a 6-3, 6-3 decision against Elizabeth Przystawski at No. 4. Cristina Alvarez defeated Scott 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 6 spot. McDonald needed just a little longer to beat Wojtalik 6-5, 6-2 (7).
The Huskies immediately return to action tomorrow in Valparaiso, Ind. to face Western Illinois at 1 p.m. CT and Valparaiso at 5 p.m. to wrap up the first weekend of spring competition.