It was the Huskies 11th win all-time versus the Broncos and the first win in at least a decade against WMU.
“Our guys were really jacked up today and took a big step forward for our program” said head coach Patrick Fisher after the match. “We worked really hard to just compete with Western Michigan and to beat them, especially on their indoor courts, it was huge. Our guys have been working hard all year and that hard work is starting to pay off.”
The Huskies won the doubles point when No. 1 duo of Dor Amir and Axel Lagerlof defeated Ross VanderPloeg and Nadin Indre, 8-6, and No. 2 pair Makysm Bartiuk and Roman Turtygin won with their 8-6 clip over Simon Blomberg and Zeyad Montasser.
In singles Amir, Bartiuk and Lagerlof won their matches at Nos. 2, 4 and 3, respectively, with Amir (2-6, 6-4, 6-1) and Lagerlof (3-6, 6-3, 6-3) doing so in three sets. Bartiuk won in straight-sets, 7-5, 7-5. Newcomer Frederic Cadieux was the icing on the cake at No. 6 when he defeated Aaron Wong 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2.
“Having Maksym back in the lineup was a huge boost for our team. He’s been working hard to rehab from injury and he was big for us in singles and doubles. Having Mikhail (Titov) back is big for us as well. With those two guys back in our lineup, we’re a completely different team,” added Fisher.
The win by Northern Illinois over Western Michigan is the first for the Huskies since at least 2002 according NIUHuskies.com online archives. WMU was the MAC Tournament Champion from 2001-10, advancing to the NCAA Tournament in 2001, 2004, 2006-10.
The Huskies return home next weekend for a pair of matches against Saint Louis (March 31) and Bradley (April 1).
For more information on NIU men’s tennis and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.