Women’s home tennis court shutouts

The Huskies welcomed Paula Veyhle back to action on Friday after missing the fall of 2021 due to injury.

Junior Maria Potsi prepares to serve during a match at the NIU Tennis Courts.

FromKALB –The women’s tennis team is embarking on a three-game winning streak after freezing Western Illinois University and St. Thomas University off the scoreboard in back-to-back home games Friday and Saturday at DeKalb.

Friday: Huskies 7, Leathernecks 0

NIU opened the weekend against the visiting WIU Leathernecks on Friday, dominating their state rivals in all phases of the game to win 7-0.

“About the middle of the doubles we picked it up, and the singles was a really good performance all round,” head coach Eric Burns said in a NIU Athletics press release.

Freshman pair Erika Dimitriev and sophomore Anastasia Rakita beat WIU sophomore Aina Cortina-Poi and junior Likhitha “Lucky” Kancherla 6-2 to open doubles play on Friday.

Sophomore Diana Lukyanova and rookie Reagan Welch followed up NIU’s season opener with a win of their own, beating Leatherneck freshmen Ashley Jacobson and Paige Grice 6-0.

Seniors Fernanda Naves and Iuliia Dmitrieva closed out the doubles competition on Friday, beating WIU sophomores Agatha Carbonell and Maria Rybka 6-2.

The Huskies continued their wins throughout the singles game, sweeping the Leathernecks in every game. Senior Paula Veyhle saw her first action of the 2021-22 campaign in sixth place, scoring six each of two matches against WIU’s Rybka, winning 6-2 and 6-0.

“It was good to have him in the lineup today and give him some work,” Burns said of Veyhle’s season debut. “We are really happy to see her back on the pitch.”

Saturday: Huskies 7, Tommies 0

NIU returned to action Saturday for another home fight, this time tasked with defending against the St. Thomas Tommies.

Dimitriev and Rakita emerged 6-3 winners in their battle with St. Thomas rookie Abigail Bremel and senior Olivia Paradise. Lukyanova and Welch followed suit with a 6-0 shutout victory over St. Thomas sophomore Jannah El Nemr and rookie Regina Talavera.

The final doubles game of Saturday’s event saw the Huskies suffer their first loss of the weekend. NIU’s Dmitrieva and Naves fell to pair of Tommies of sophomores Nicole Snezhko and Monterey Knewtson 6-3.

Saturday’s singles play mirrored Friday’s as the Huskies kept the Tommies in the loss column every game. NIU ended the competition on Saturday by sealing a second straight 7-0 win.

“Everyone was solid at every level and took care of their games,” Burns said.

The weekend’s back-to-back wins at home take NIU’s overall record to 3-1 in the young season. The Huskies are riding a three-game winning streak since falling to the University of Wisconsin 7-0 in their season opener at home on Jan. 29.

NIU will be looking to remain undefeated on the weekend as they travel east to take on the 3-2 University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana. The game is scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. CT Sunday and can be watched here.