Jan. 17, 2014
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Huskies have started playing tennis again. On Friday evening at 5:00 p.m. NIU faced No. 30 Drake on the road in the first men's tennis match of the spring season. It was a close match, one in which the Huskies nearly knocked off the nationally ranked team. However, it ended in a 4-3 defeat for NIU. With that, the Huskies start the year 0-1.
"It was a disappointing loss," said Head Coach Patrick Fisher. "We put ourselves in position, but we didn't finish. With that being said, our energy was excellent and we in about as prepared as possible for our first game of the year. We have a long way to go still. This loss will give us better direction on what we need to be working on."
NIU started the match strong as in the No. 1 doubles match, Dor Amir and Axel Lagerlof took down the eighth-ranked doubles team nationally, Robin Goodman and Ravi Patel in a 6-3 final, giving NIU the early edge in doubles play. In the No. 2 doubles match, Matt Lynch and Jovan Zeljkovic took Ben Lott and Alen Salibasic to the brink of defeat, but eventually fell 6-5 (3). Frederic Cadieux and Simon Formont came picked up their teammates in similarly tight battle, edging out Frost and Ben Mullis 6-5 (3). This gave NIU a 1-0 lead.
Drake came back at the start singles play. Zeljkovic vs. Goodman was the first singles match to finish, and that one ended in favor of Drake to even the score 1-1. Lagerlof and Amir each had a long set not go their way, as Lagerlof lost in the No. 1 by a 6-2, 6-5 (4) final and Amir lost in the No. 2 by a 6-5 (0), 6-2 final.
With the team down 3-1, Cadieux was in the No. 3 for NIU, facing No. 123 Matt Frost. He disposed of the nationally ranked tennis player in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 to get the Huskies back on the board. However, Lynch followed by dropping a close one in the No. 5, sealing defeat as Drake reached four team points. Formont closed the action with a back-and-forth battle in the No. 6, one that he eventually won 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.
NIU has a week to prepare for a doubleheader on Friday, January 24. The Huskies will be at home in the Boylan Tennis Center in Rockford, Ill. to take on IPFW at 1:00 p.m. and Chicago State at 5:00 p.m.
Drake 4, NIU 3:
No. 1 Alen Salibasic (DU) def. Axel Lagerlof (NIU), 6-2, 6-5 (4)
No. 2 Ben Lott (DU) def. Dor Amir (NIU), 6-5 (0), 6-2
No. 3 Frederic Cadieux (NIU) def. No. 123 Matt Frost (DU), 6-3, 6-2
No. 4 Robin Goodman (DU) def. Jovan Zeljkovic (NIU), 6-1, 6-2
No. 5 Ravi Patel (DU) def. Matt Lynch (NIU), 6-4, 6-3
No. 6 Simon Formont (NIU) def. Rakshit Rishi (DU), 6-2, 1-6, 6-4
No. 1 Amir/Lagerlof (NIU) def. No. 8 Goodman/Patel (DU), 6-3
No. 2 Lott/Salibasic (DU) def. Lynch/Zeljkovic (NIU), 6-5 (3)
No. 3 Cadieux/Formont (NIU) def. Frost/Ben Mullis (DU), 6-5 (3)