April 24, 2009
Final Results in PDF Format
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The third-seeded Northern Illinois men's tennis team secured wins at both the No. 2 and sixth singles positions, but dropped a 4-2 decision versus No. 2 Toledo at the Elliot Tennis Center in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday. The loss eliminated the Huskies from competition in the 2009 Mid-American Conference Championships.
"We put up a great effort today, but Toledo was a stronger doubles team, and they took advantage of that," said NIU head coach Pawel Gajdzik. "Even though we fell behind 3-0, we kept fighting, and extended the match. Jurica and Ross gave us a chance to win, but we fell short.
"It's a tough way to end the season, but we accomplished a lot of first-time occurrences this season, and the future is bright for this program. Our young guys are only going to get better, and more help is on the way with Szymon Tatarczyk (Poland) joining the program next year. I'm also proud of our seniors, who were a large part of us having a great season and ending their careers on a positive note."
Toledo captured the decisive doubles point with regulation pro-set wins at both the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles flights. The Rockets' top tandem of Jared Miller and Knot Likitkumchorn posted an 8-2 win over NIU's Pawel Poziomski and Jimmy Chu, followed by an 8-1 victory by Toledo's Aleksander Elezovic and Levi Bent-Lee over Ross VanderPloeg and Javier Bernabe. Jurica Grubisic and Shaun Stewart were tied with their counterparts (4-4) at No. 2 doubles, but the match was abandoned due to the outcome of the doubles point already being decided.
Toledo jumped out to a 3-0 lead after Sven Burus posted a 6-2, 6-2 win over Stewart at No. 3 singles. Grubisic trimmed the deficit to 3-1 after a straight-set (6-2, 6-2) victory at the second singles position. VanderPloeg's 6-4, 6-1 win over Toledo's Gursher Harika (No. 6) kept the Huskies alive, but the Rockets sealed the win with Jared Miller's straight-set (6-0, 7-5) win over Poziomski at the top singles flight.
Chu, playing No. 5 singles, won the first set (6-4), but dropped the ensuing frame (6-2), and was trailing 5-0 before forcing to have the match go into the books unfinished, as the Rockets had sealed the coveted fourth point in the tournament-formatted match.
NIU finishes its season with a 9-10 (3-2 MAC) record, and tied for second-place in the MAC regular season, after being picked fifth in the preseason poll. The Huskies return four-of the six players on its 2009 postseason roster for the 2009-10 campaign.