March 19, 2010
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's tennis team captured the decisive doubles point, and recorded individual singles wins at the No. 2, third, No. 5 and sixth singles positions, tallying a shortened 5-0 dual match win over visiting Lewis in the Huskies' home opener at the Huskie Tennis Courts Friday afternoon.
"Our guys really battled today, and I was proud of them for that," said NIU head coach Patrick Fisher. "Lewis was a solid team, and we really had to grind this one out - it certainly could have gone either way.
"It was good to get outside in March, that doesn't happen very often this time of year. Everyone in our lineup got a win today, but we'll have to play better going forward. Hopefully we can see some continued improvement tomorrow against Rockford and Aurora in Rockford."
The Huskies' (7-7) No. 2 doubles tandem of Maksym Bartiuk and Maximilian Phillips teamed for a convincing 8-0 win to get the Huskies on the board, followed by a doubles point clinching 8-6 victory by Javier Bernabe and Greg Czajkowski at No. 3. The Flyers' top doubles tandem of Jesse Hardacre and Nick Heidenfelder outlasted NIU's Mikhail Titov and Roman Turtygin, 8-6.
In singles play, Czajkowski defeated Heidenfelder in straight-sets (6-4, 7-5) for his first singles victory of the season. Titov overcame a first-set deficit to post a 7-6 tiebreaking win, and then coasted to a 6-4 victory in the second set, to give NIU the match-winning fourth team point.
Phillips also won in straight-sets, 6-3, 7-5, at No. 5 singles. Bartiuk (No. 1) and Turtygin (No. 4) both trailed in their decisive third sets, but the decisions went into the books unfinished as the result of the dual match was already decided.
Northern Illinois will move indoors to the Forest City Tennis Center in Rockford on Saturday, for two dual matches against Rockford and Aurora. The Huskies will take on Aurora at 10 a.m., and face Rockford at 3 p.m.