The Huskies took on Buffalo Bulls on Friday to start off the MAC Championship Tournament. NIU started strong, but Buffalo proved to be too much in the end, as the Huskies fell 4-2.
“It was a very tough match,” said head coach Patrick Fisher. “We couldn’t finish when we had the chance. That’s how the tournament can go sometimes. Everyone’s playing at a higher level than they did in the regular season. Buffalo’s a great team. They stuck it out to the end.”
The Huskies began the contest like so many others this season. With wins in the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles matches, the team claimed the doubles point to get an early 1-0 edge. Dor Amir and Axel Lagerlof defeated Damien David and Akhil Mehta in the No. 1, 8-5. Simon Formont and Frederic Cadieux followed with an 8-6 win over Jonathan Hannestad and Sergio Arevalillo in the No. 2 to seal the point.
Singles proved to be much more difficult this time around. Cadieux started things with a strong performance in the No. 3, winning against Pablo Alvarez 6-1, 6-4. Buffalo struck back with its first point of the contest when Sebastian Ionescu took down Amir in the No. 2, 6-4, 6-3.
The remaining matches each had the same sequence. The No. 4, 5, and 6 matches all went to three sets.
The Huskies were able to take the first set in each instance, but they lost very close battles in the second sets, and eventually dropped the third sets. The Bulls completed each comeback to defeat the Huskies, 4-2.
“This doesn’t take away from what we accomplished this year,” Fisher said. “This team has come a long way since I took over in 2009. We’re one of the best teams in the conference now, and I’m looking forward to next season.”
For more information on NIU men’s tennis and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.