NIU’s tennis teams found themselves on different sides of the wins/losses column over the weekend.
The men’s tennis team capped its successful weekend by sweeping Saturday’s doubleheader against Detroit and UW-Whitewater. The Huskies took both matches 7-0, and they won all but one individual match on the day.
With Saturday’s performance, the team improves to 5-1.
“Yesterday we talked about the challenge of playing back to back with energy and enthusiasm, and they did,” said head coach Patrick Fisher. “Our team took a small step forward this weekend because we dominated two teams that we had trouble with last year. We barely beat SIU-Carbondale and lost to Detroit last year, but that wasn’t the case this year.”
The first match of the day for NIU was against the Detroit Titans. The Huskies thoroughly dominated this affair, as no individual match went needed more than two sets to decide a victor. NIU started off well by taking the doubles point after the Axel Lagerlof/Dor Amir and Simon Formont/Frederic Cadieux tandems defeated their opposing doubles teams, both in a 6-3 final.
Singles would prove to be another strong point for the Huskies in the first event for the team. The toughest affairs were in the No. 4 and No.5. In the No. 4, Carlos Manzanas ground out two long sets to take down Detroit’s Rafael Orantes, 6-5, 6-5. Jovan Zeljkovic had a similar battle with Detroit’s Ismail Kadyrov in the No. 5, eventually winning 6-5, 6-4. With the singles wins, the Huskies shutout the opposing Titans, 7-0.
In the evening cap, the Huskies rode the momentum from earlier in the day to a match against the UWW Warhawks. Once again, they took the doubles point to get an early 1-0 edge, winning the No. 1 and No. 3 matches. This was another shutout – the third of the season for NIU – as the Huskies won 7-0.
The Huskies will remain at home Friday, Feb. 7, for a 5 p.m. match against SIU-Edwardsville at the Boylan Tennis Center in Rockford.
NIU’s women’s tennis team traveled to Wisconsin Sunday afternoon to take on the Badgers in the second match of the spring season. Fallin 5-2, the team evened it record to 1-1.
“I was pleased with our doubles play,” said head coach Ryun Ferrell. “We need to continue to improve overall, but this was not a disappointing match. We faced a very good Wisconsin team. Our intensity was high, and we were well-tested today.”
The match began with some tough contests in doubles play.
Nelle Youel and Arantza De La Torre picked up a win in the No. 1 match by defeating Wisconsin’s Lauren Burich and Sydney Rider in a 6-4 final. However, the Huskies dropped the other two doubles matches to lose the doubles point and go down early, 1-0.
In singles play, Stephanie McDonald picked up a nice victory in the No. 6 match when she took on Badger Becca Bailey. McDonald took the first set 6-3, but Bailey forced a super tiebreak by getting the second set 6-2. McDonald hung in there for the Huskies though, winning the tiebreak 10-6 and taking the point for her team. Her efforts weren’t quite enough however, as the Huskies dropped four of the six singles matches, ending the event in a 5-2 loss for NIU.
The women will next play at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at the Boylan Tennis Center to face SIU-Edwardsville.
For more information on NIU tennis and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.