Grubisic and Poziomski Battle in 4-0 Loss to No. 11 Illinois

GO HUSKIES Pawel Poziomski
Pawel Poziomski

March 1, 2009

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URBANA, Ill. - The Huskies' No. 1 and No. 2 singles players were both on their way to forcing a decisive third-set against their counterparts from 11th-ranked Illinois Sunday, but the matches went into the books unfinished, and the Northern Illinois men's tennis team dropped a 4-0 decision versus the host Illini at the Atkins Tennis Center.

The match was played in a tournament format, with the first team collecting four points being tabbed the winner. It is the same format that is structured for the Mid-American Conference championships, and/or an NCAA Regional event. The Huskies' previous seven matches were played in a dual-match format.

"We lost today against a very good and experienced Illinois team," said NIU head coach Pawel Gajdzik. "Their experience playing in the NCAA Tournament really showed on the court. I was really pleased with our No. 1, (No.) 2 and (No. 3) singles players. They competed, and the matches were wide open when we ended. Pawel (Poziomski) was actually serving with a chance to close out the second set.

"It was good for us to get some experience playing against a great team in this format. Illinois's coaching staff had some nice comments at the end of the match, about how they were impressed with how hard our guys played, and the general direction that the program is going in. We look forward to having a chance to play Illinois again in future seasons."

Top singles player Jurica Grubisic dropped a 6-2 first-set decision against No. 90 Billy Heiser from Illinois, but fought back to take a 4-1 lead in the second-set, before the match was suspended due to the outcome of the being decided with the decisive fourth point.

Pawel Poziomski was also on his way to a second-set comeback, claiming a 5-1 over No. 110 Marek Czerwinski in the second set before finishing the contest unfinished. Poziomski fell in the opening stanza, 6-4.

Matt Hansen's No. 3 singles match also ended unfinished, but Shaun Stewart (No. 4), Javier Bernabe (No. 5) and Adnan Sose (No. 6) all dropped straight-set decisions to wrap up singles play.

The Illini claimed the doubles point by winning both the No. 2 and No. 3 pro-set matches in regulation points. Grubisic and Poziomski, playing No. 1 doubles together, were trailing, 5-4, before the match ended unfinished.

The Huskies will be idle from competition for the next 19 days, before facing host Illinois State March 21 at 1 p.m.



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