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NIU Women’s Tennis is facing challenging slate from 2021

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DEKALB, Ill. The Northern Illinois University women’s tennis team opens its 2021 campaign with a doubleheader on Tuesday, January 19 at Notre Dame. It’s the first of a challenging 32-event, 25-day schedule for the Huskies this season.

“This is an extremely difficult schedule,” said the NIU head coach Eric Burns. “Every year we create these schemes that look crazy on paper to challenge our team mentally and physically. This approach is not about wins and losses, but about developing our players who put us and their games on the road.

“This is a total picture, trust the process. We want our players to improve at a rapid pace throughout the season and we know the best way is to play the best teams we can plan and play a lot of games.”

NIU will wrap up its first week of action in Cincinnati on January 23 before returning home for a play of five of the Huskies’ next seven games, which will be played at Chick Evans Field House. After the home opener against Valparaiso on Jan. 29, NIU will return to South Bend to face Notre Dame on Jan. 30.

“We play three times in the first three weeks against Notre Dame (a top 30 team), mainly because we only need games and playing great competition is a way to improve quickly,” he said. It’s probably a bit crazy on my part to schedule it, but what an opportunity for our team to learn what we can do against one of the better programs in the country. “

After a four game road trip, including games in Des Moines, Iowa and Milwaukee, Wis., NIU will open the Mid-American Conference schedule on March 12 when the Huskies host Bowling Green at Boylan Tennis Center in Rockford, Illinois.

“The MAC is a double round-robin this year and this will give us extremely tough competitions every time,” said Burns. “We hope this difficult schedule can really help us grow as a team in the beginning and get us ready for conference play.”

The Huskies are entering the 2021 season to build on a successful 2020 campaign that ended prematurely. Before the season was cut short, NIU set a record of 12-6, more wins than the previous two seasons combined. It was also the most wins by a Huskie women’s tennis team since the 2015 squad winning 11 games.

“We are very excited to start the season,” he said. “It has been a long time since we participated and we are pumped for the chance to finally play and see what we can do. The ladies worked extremely hard this fall and during the winter break and it was really hard not to have a fall season to compete.

NIU returns seven players from last season, led by Paula Veyhle, which set a total mark of 15-7 and a double record of 11-3. Old leader, senior Maria Potsi, was right behind her with a 12-9 overall record and a 9-5 double mark.

“I’m sure they are tired of competing against each other and against Natalie [Sayer] and I’m ready to see them really compete against other teams, “Burns said.” That’s why we’re here. “

-NIU-

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