Patrick Fisher’s tennis squad picked up its fourth win of the season today, with a 5-1 victory over Saint Louis at the Sunset Tennis Center. It was the second time in as many weeks that the team claimed a victory while losing only one point.
“We beat a team that we should beat, and we beat them pretty convincingly,” Fisher said. “The play at the bottom will be a key for us Sunday in Carbondale. We have to play a lot stronger there than we did today.
The Huskies (4-6) flexed their muscles early with dominant showings at the No. 1 and 3 singles flights. Reigning MAC Player of the Week Maksym Bartiuk recorded his third-straight victory in dominant fashion, 6-0, 6-1, over Joe Flanagan in the top flight. At No. 3, Axel Lagerlof continued his impressive first season at NIU, notching his sixth win, 6-0, 6-2 over Nishaad Balachandran. Bartiuk and Lagerlof remain tied atop the wins column for the Huskies.
At No. 5, Maximilian Phillips netted a 6-4, 6-2 win over Patrick Kella, while Roman Turtygin claimed the fourth straight-set victory of the day for the Huskies at No. 2. Behind a quick start, the Russian won the first set 6-1, before playing a much tighter second set, prevailing 7-5.
Despite dropping the first set convincingly, 6-1, Maksym Lagutin proved his mettle in flight four against Drew Feder, coming back and claiming the second set, 6-4. In a closely contested 10-point tiebreaker, the freshman was able to outlast his counterpart 10-8. In the sixth flight, Bryant Poggensee-Wei’s comeback attempt came up just short against Dave Welkener after he was unable to convert on three match points, falling 11-9 in the third set tiebreaker.
NIU will face Southern Illinois in Carbondale, Ill., on Sunday at 9 a.m. CT.