March 18, 2010
DEKALB - Back home after spending spring break in Florida, the Northern Illinois men's tennis team seeks its third straight win over an in-state opponent when the Huskies host Lewis Friday, and both Rockford and Aurora Saturday at the Huskie Tennis Courts. Weather permitting, Friday's match will start at 4 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader is slated to begin at 10 a.m.
The Huskies (6-7) have won five out of their last six matches, including three of four on their spring break trip last week in Orlando, Fla. While in Florida, NIU defeated Sacred Heart, Connecticut and Bethune Cookman, and dropped a 6-1 decision to Liberty.
Prior to their spring break trip, the Huskies recorded back-to-back wins over Eastern Illinois and Southern Illinois in Rockford. NIU owns a 2-3 record against in-state opponents this season.
Freshman Maksym Bartiuk, who has played at No. 1 singles in every match this season, has won six-straight matches, including three consecutive straight-set decisions. Bartiuk leads the Huskies with nine singles victories, and is tied with sophomore Roman Turtygin with a team-high five doubles wins.
Fellow freshman Mikhail Titov has won five out of his last six singles matches at No. 2 singles, and ranks third on the squad with seven victories. Titov and Turtygin, playing together at No. 1 doubles, have been catalysts during the Huskies' recent string of success with four wins in their last six contests.
Senior Javier Bernabe is second on the squad with eight singles victories and has won four of his last six matches at No. 3 singles. Bernabe, who led NIU with 11 singles victories last season, notched his 50th career singles victory with a three-set decision Saturday at Bethune Cookman.
Lewis (5-2), a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, has been off since March 3, when they recorded a 5-4 upset win over No. 37 Florida Tech in Melbourne, Fla. Sophomore Uno Lapimaa leads the Flyers with a 7-0 dual-match record at No. 1 singles, and sophomore Tonis Irdoja is 5-2 at the No. 2 position.
Aurora, a member of the Northern Athletic Conference, will play its first match of the 2010 season Saturday against the Huskies. The Spartans were 2-10 last season.
Rockford College (1-1), also a member of the Northern Athletic Conference, recently split a home doubleheader with Lake Forest College (L, 9-0) and Judson College (W, 5-4) on Feb. 27. The Regents went 0-13 last season.
- NIU -