The Northern Illinois men’s tennis team took on St. Louis (7-6) on Saturday as a final tune-up for the upcoming conference matches. At the Boylan Tennis Center, the Huskies emerged victorious over the opposing Billikens, 7-0.
The win improves NIU’s record to 13-5 this season.
It was a strong match throughout for the Huskies. In doubles, NIU took the point thanks to victories in the No. 2 and No. 3. Matt Lynch and Jovan Zeljkovic bested Paarth Dodhiawala and Vuk Poledica, 8-4 in the No. 3. Frederic Cadieux and Simon Formont picked up their 10th win in 2014 together with an 8-3 victory over Yehia El Sallaly and Nishaad Balachandran in the No. 2. With the doubles point, NIU grabbed an early 1-0 edge.
In singles, the Huskies were dominant. Only one match was forced to three sets. In the end, NIU won them all to shutout the opposition on the day. Dor Amir started things off with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Patrick Kella in the No. 1. Axel Lagerlof picked up his 10th win of the spring in the No. 3 against El Sallaly in a 6-3, 7-5 final.
Formont was forced to make a comeback in the No. 5 to claim his team-leading 16th win in 2014. He took down Poledica, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4. Cadieux, Zeljkovic, and Lynch each added wins of their own to cap off a strong team performance.
Mid-American Conference play is right around the corner for the Huskies. They head Friday, March 28, to Kalamazoo, Mich. to face Western Michigan. The two teams will take to the courts at 3 p.m.
The NIU women’s tennis team took part in its second installment of conference play Saturday. NIU played at Miami (Ohio) (8-4), taking on the Redhawks. The match ended in a 6-1 defeat for the Huskies, dropping the team’s record to 5-7 with a 0-2 conference record.
“We played better today,” said head coach Ryun Ferrell. “But, Miami is a very good team. They kept us on the court for over four hours.”
The teams took to doubles to begin play in this one. This section of the contest made for a rough start for the Huskies. Nelle Youel and Arantza De La Torre came close to victory in the No. 1, but they fell to Christine Guerrazzi and Alix Thurman, 8-5. Overall, none of NIU’s teams were able to claim a victory, and with that, the Redhawks were ahead 1-0 going into singles.
In singles, Youel remained boiling hot. She won in the No. 1 against Nimisha Mohan, 6-3, 7-5. Youel has won eight of her last nine singles matches now. The remaining Huskies struggled to get things going, however.
For the second straight match, Mary Malkin played a very tight affair. In the No. 5 against Ramona Costea, she dropped the first set, but in the second set, she evened things up to force a tie break. There, she was barely edged, losing in a 6-4, 4-6, (10-8) final.
“Again, we played really well,” added Farrell. “If we keep improving like this, I am looking forward to the rest of this conference season.”
Their next match will be against the Akron Zips, set to begin at 1 p.m. Friday, March 28. It will be held at the Boylan Tennis Center.
For more information on NIU tennis and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.