Jan. 16, 2014
DeKALB, Ill. - Tennis is back at Northern Illinois. The men's tennis team will begin its spring season on Friday, January 17 on the road at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The match is set to begin at 5:00 p.m.
Last season, NIU ended the spring with a tight loss in the championship round of the MAC Tournament against Western Michigan, 4-3. The Huskies will look to get another opportunity this season, and it all starts with the first non-conference match of the year against Drake. NIU went 16-9 overall last year.
In the 2013 fall season, the Huskies competed at four events, including one held at Drake. In that, which was held from September 20 to September 22, Simon Formont and Carlos Manzanas put forth great showings in the B Flight Singles bracket, as they both went unbeaten and made it to the final round. However, because they were teammates, this final round was not contested, and the flight win was credited to the Huskies.
The Huskies also competed in the River Forest Invitational, held on September 13 & 14 in Chicago, Ill. where Jovan Zeljkovic and Matt Lynch were the standout performers. Zeljkovic took down the #4 Singles flight for the Huskies, winning all three of his matches in the bracket. He also teamed up with Lynch to win the #3 Doubles flight. The pairing of Lynch and Zeljkovic was impressive throughout the fall, going 6-2 overall.
At the ITA Midwest Regional (October 17 to October 21), Axel Lagerlof was the Huskie feature, as he faced off with the then #3 player in college tennis, Peter Kobelt. Lagerlof nearly took the first set of the match, but he narrowly fell 7-6. This set up his defeat in the second set, 6-3. It was an encouraging performance for Lagerlof however, and he hopes to bring that type of play into the spring season.
In the 2013 spring season, Drake was tough to beat, going 25-3 overall. Head Coach Davidson Kozlowski returns to guide the Bulldogs for a second year after his successful debut season. NIU and Drake last faced off on February 12, 2012, a match which Drake won 7-0.
This match at Drake is the start of weekly events for men's tennis in the coming months. Following the completion of all matches on Friday, the Huskies will have exactly one week to prepare for a doubleheader at home against IPFW and Chicago State. The tennis will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, January 24 with IPFW and NIU competing. Later that day, at 5:00 p.m. the Huskies will face Chicago State.