With the loss, NIU fell to 19-7 overall and 3-1 in MAC action. Meanwhile, the Bulls moved to 9-8 overall and 4-0 in conference play. UB also earned a share of the MAC regular season title with the win.
“Today didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to,” said Huskie head coach Patrick Fisher. “We fought hard, but we just came up short. Just by looking at the scores, you can see that we competed, but couldn’t come away with the win.”
The Huskies and Bulls opened the match with three hotly contested doubles matches. Frederic Cadieux and Maximilian Phillips teamed up in No. 3 doubles for an 8-6 victory against UB’s Yegeniy Shkodnik and Alex Kalinin. Yet, Buffalo won the doubles point with victories in first and second doubles.
UB’s momentum carried over to singles play when Maksym Bartiuk lost to Ivan Vereshchaga in No. 4 singles 6-0, 6-2 for a 2-0 lead.
However, Cadieux and Phillips evened the score with straight set wins of their own. Cadieux, a freshman from Quebec, toppled Kalinin at No. 5 with a 6-1, 6-3. Shortly thereafter, Phillips defeated Shkodnik at No. 6 by scores of 6-4, 6-2.
The Bulls, though, would take the match with three wins at the top of the lineup. Despite taking the first set in both of their matches, Dor Amir fell to Damien David in No. 1 singles 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, while Axel Lagerlof was bested by Wojciech Starakiewicz at No. 3 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
At No. 2 singles, Roman Turtygin battled back to force a third set, but lost to Vusa Hove 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.
“Give credit to Buffalo,” Fisher said. “They fought hard, too. They were better and the better team won today.”
The Huskies return to action Friday, April 20 with a 10 a.m. tilt at Chicago State. With a win over the Cougars and a Buffalo loss at Ball State, NIU will get a share of the MAC regular season championship.
For more information on NIU men’s tennis and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.