Men’s tennis travels south for two matches

Huskies face Saint Louis, Southern Illinois in weekend contests

Maksym Lagutin

Maksym Lagutin

The Northern Illinois men’s tennis team returns to the road this weekend for a pair of matches.

The Huskies open the weekend against Saint Louis at 1:45 p.m. today at Sunset Tennis Center. NIU will then head to Carbondale, Ill., ahead of its contest with Southern Illinois, slated for 9 a.m. Sunday.

The Huskies (3-6) are coming off an in-state split last weekend against Eastern Illinois and Northwestern. NIU easily dispatched Eastern Illinois, 6-1, winning seven of nine matches last week before falling the following day, 6-1, at No. 69 Northwestern.

Shining during the two-day stretch was sophomore Maksym Bartiuk, who was slotted back in the No. 1 spot and took home a pair of victories over Michael Sperry of EIU (7-5, 6-1) and Joshua Graves of Northwestern (6-1, 3-6, 7-5), pushing his record to 5-4. Bartiuk’s performances against EIU and Northwestern earned him MAC Player of the Week honors for the second time in his young career.

Last weekend, the Billikens (3-2) were swept 7-0 by both Bradley and Southern Illinois. The loss to Bradley was the first for Saint Louis at home this season. SLU is led by Nishaad Balachandran and Patrick Kella whom both possess a 3-2 record in singles play.

Southern Illinois’ lone match last weekend was the aforementioned 7-0 victory over Saint Louis at home. The Salukis (2-1) blew past the Billikens, dropping only three sets all day. SIU is led by a trio of undefeated players in Adam Fabik, Jorge Cavero and Carlos Do Val, whom all boast 3-0 singles marks.

For more information about NIU men’s tennis and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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