Just ahead of the spring season, Northern Illinois men’s tennis coach Patrick Fisher has wrapped up the recruiting process, adding Dor Amir, Axel Langerlof and Tyler Stephens to the Huskie roster.
“I think this is an outstanding class,” Fisher said. “Our first two classes (since I arrived), are by far the best two recruiting classes that I think we’ve ever had here at Northern Illinois based upon results. If you look at these guys’ results, they’re all very accomplished players. They’ve played at a high level, and I think their rankings and play have shown that.
“They are exactly what we’re trying to bring to NIU. Not only are they great players, but they have outstanding character and they’re going to be great students.”
Amir comes to NIU after being an accomplished junior tennis player in Israel where he was ranked in the top three for players under 18, while also holding a top 200 International Tennis Federation (ITF) ranking. At 16, Amir became the youngest Israeli male player to compete in an Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) event. The 19-year-old left-hander has since recorded wins over eight players who currently hold an ATP ranking.
Lagerlof, a native of Malmo, Sweden, is currently a top-100 player in his native country and is ranked tenth in his age group. He competed for the Malmo Borgar School, where he led his team to Sweden’s national outdoor championship in 2009, while taking home a third-place finish the following year. The 19-year-old has competed in numerous Future Level tournaments and has qualified for Sweden’s F2 ITF event.
Stephens of Fleming Island, Fla., transferred to NIU after beginning his college career at Troy University. Prior to Troy, he was ranked in the top 50 in Florida as a singles competitor and top 35 in doubles. At Fleming High School, Stephens won district singles titles as a sophomore and senior, while also making it to the finals in doubles as a senior. He was one of the 16 players to qualify for the Florida High School Singles Championships during his final year at Fleming. The 6-foot-2 right-hander has multiple victories over Division I level competition under his belt.
The trio will join junior Roman Turtygin, sophomores Maksym Bartiuk, Maximilian Phillips and Mikhail Titov and freshman Bryant Poggensee-Wei as the Huskies begin the spring season Saturday, Jan. 22, at Dayton.