Feb. 15, 2012
DeKALB, Ill. - Coming off a 2-1 weekend, with a pair of 6-1 wins at home against IPFW and SUIE and a 7-0 loss to No. 73 Drake, the Northern Illinois men's tennis team will again play two home matches Friday as it hosts Valparaiso and IUPUI at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. The Huskies are undefeated at home this season, with all four of their wins occurring at Rockford Boylan Tennis Center.
"We like playing at home and I think we learned what areas we need to improve in after our match at Drake last Sunday," said Head Coach Patrick Fisher. "We'll play two matches on Friday and that always makes for a long day of tennis, but our guys have done a good job with doubleheaders this season so I know they are up to challenge."
Last Friday, NIU won five of its six doubles contests, only losing at No. 1 versus the Cougars. The No. 2 pair of Mikhail Titov and Roman Turtygin won their match handily, 8-4, as did the No. 3 duo of Frederic Cadieux and Max Phillips with an 8-2 triumph. In singles the Huskies won Nos. 2-6 to claim the 6-1 win. Against IPFW, the Huskies made a straight-sweep of doubles to convincingly win the the point from the Mastodons. At Nos. 1-5, Northern Illinois' only lost one set and even recorded two shutout sets. NIU's only lost occurred at No. 6.
Two days later, the program headed to Des Moines, Iowa to face nationally ranked Drake. The Bulldogs set the tone early in doubles to claim the early point over Northern Illinois. As Coach Fisher said after the match "our guys just couldn't regain their composure after doubles and Drake really played good, relaxed tennis."
The tennis season for Valpo has been short thus far, having only played three matches. However, the Crusaders are 2-1 in that time frame and suffered its only loss to Ball State Jan. 28, 6-1. Its wins have come at the hands of Dayton (4-3) and Grace (7-0) on Feb. 4 and 11, respectively. Three of Valpos players are 2-1 this spring, including its No. 1 Chris Baum and No. 2 Eric Honert.
IUPUI has played a a total of seven matches this season and is 2-5 in 2012, with 0-7 losses to No. 7 Kentucky, No. 30 Notre Dame and No. 53 Michigan State. The Huskies and the Jaguars have shared a common opponent this season, SIU-Edwardsville, and both shared the same result - a victory. IUPUI's other triumph took place Feb. 11 at Saint Louis (6-1).
Following the weekend of tennis, Northern Illinois will return to action Feb. 25 with matches against Dayton and Western Illinois, beginning at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Boylan Tennis Center. The following day, NIU will host Cleveland State at 1 p.m.