DEKALB – The Bowling Green State University tennis team, coming off a loss for the first time in over two months, responded with a conference win on the road. The Falcons defeated Northern Illinois University, 5-2, on Friday afternoon (March 29) in Mid-American Conference match at the Huskie Tennis Courts.
With the win, the Falcons improve to 13-2 overall and 2-1 in the MAC. BGSU had won a school-record 12 consecutive matches before seeing that streak snapped last weekend vs. Eastern Michigan.
Northern Illinois dropped to 14-5 overall and 0-3 in MAC action.
For the 14th consecutive match, the Falcons won the doubles point. And, for the third time in as many MAC matches, head coach Penny Dean's four seniors combined for a pair of doubles victories. BG's duos of Maddy Eccleston and Katie Grubb at the second flight and Mary Hill and Jade Johnson at the third level posted wins, with the Eccleston/Grubb team topping NIU's Haley Dekkinga and Arantza De La Torre by an 8-2 count, and the Hill/Johnson tandem dropping only three games in a win over Stephanie McDonald and Cristina Alvarez.
NIU's lone doubles win came at the top flight, where Nelle Youel and Mary Malkin defeated BGSU juniors Nikki Chiricosta and Emily Reuland by an 8-3 final.
In singles play, however, the Falcons picked up wins in the first four matches to finish, building an insurmountable 5-0 lead before the Huskies salvaged a pair of points.
Eccleston made quick work of Malkin at the third flight, dropping only two total matches -- one in each set -- en route to BG's first singles win of the day. Then, freshman Katie Brozovich wrapped up a straight-sets win over De La Torre at the fourth flight. Brozovich won her two sets by identical 6-3 scores.
Brozovich's win extended her streak to 14 consecutive singles victories. She has not lost a singles match since Jan. 18 at nationally-ranked Notre Dame. Overall, the freshman has 20-straight matches (both singles and doubles) since that singles setback.
Chiricosta clinched the match victory for the Falcons with a straight-sets win over Dekkinga. The BG junior captured a close opening set by a 7-5 result, then closed out the win with a 6-2 second-set win at the second flight.
Hill was a winner over McDonald at the sixth flight. Like Chiricosta, Hill won a narrow first set before leaving no doubt about the second set's outcome. The BG co-captain reeled off wins in six consecutive games to capture that final set. Hill has won two of her last three singles matches, coinciding with the beginning of MAC play.
Both of NIU's wins required three sets, as Youel outlasted Reuland at the top flight and Alvarez got past Grubb at the fifth.
The Falcons return to action next weekend, returing to the road as well. BGSU continues a three-match road swing by taking on Akron on Friday (April 5) and Buffalo Saturday (April 6). The Falcons' next home match will be against Ball State on Friday, April 12.