Huskie tennis player wins MAC newcomer prize

Axel Lagerlof
Axel Lagerlof

Northern Illinois freshman Axel Lagerlof capped off his first season with the Huskies by being named Mid-American Conference Newcomer of the Year, announced today by the conference office.

This is the second-straight year that a Huskie has won the award, with Maksym Bartiuk winning the honor last year.

“It’s a great honor for Axel,” said NIU head coach Patrick Fisher. “He’s come in and done everything right. He’s been a great player for us in singles and doubles. We were not anticipating him playing as high as he did this year, but when he was called on to play at a higher spot in the lineup, he responded.”

As a winter signee, Lagerlof was thrust into action with little preparation with the team as the season began in late January.

The native of Malmo, Sweden, made his presence known during his first weekend of collegiate action, notching three wins, two in singles. From Feb. 11 to March 1, the freshman went 12-2 in singles play, earning his best of win of the season during that stretch over Ricardo Martin of Wisconsin, 6-3, 6-3.

In all, Lagerlof led the team with a 17-8 singles mark on the season, while going 1-3 in the MAC, with his time split between the No. 1, 2, and 3 positions. He also earned eight doubles victories playing with Roman Turtygin.

“I think this (achievement) is just another step in the building process that our program has been going through in the past two years,” Fisher said. “To have the Newcomer of the Year two years in a row, I think shows the direction our program is going and what type of kids we’ve brought to NIU.”

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

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