March 30, 2012
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois men's tennis will return to action Saturday and Sunday when it hosts Saint Louis and Bradley at Boylan Tennis Center. The Huskies are 15-5 overall this season and are within reach of surpassing its highest win total since 2004 (18).
The Huskies made history last weekend when they defeated Western Michigan for the first time in 15 years (Feb. 8, 1997), dropping the Broncos the 5-2. It was NIU's first MAC contest of the season and puts itself atop the Mid-American Conference at 1-0. Maksym Bartiuk returned to the lineup for Northern Illinois after sustaining injury in early February, winning at No. 4 in singles and No. 2 doubles.
The Huskies win total (15) is the most-ever under Head Coach Patrick Fisher who has led NIU to 10 and 11 win seasons in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Saint Louis is 2-10 this spring and has lost nine-straight matches since Feb. 11, a 6-1 loss to IUPUI. SLU's victories have come at the hands of Eastern Illinois (5-2) and Western Illinois (5-2), both of whom the Huskies have played and defeated this season. The Billikens last victory came Feb. 10 when they defeated Western Illinois, 5-2. Patrick Kella has been the top dog for SLU this spring with a 6-5 singles record.
Bradley owns a 7-10 register in 2012, last in action during spring break March 16 against No. 59 Stetson and only narrowly falling to the Hatters, 4-3. The Braves will take on Chicago State and Valparaiso March 30 before meeting the Huskies on April 1. Juan Diego Cuadrado has been steady at the top of Bradley's lineup, earning 10 wins, including seven at No. 2. Cuadrado and Justin Abrams have been formidable in doubles with seven wins this spring.
Northern Illinois will return to Mid-American Conference play April 7 when it takes on Ball State and take on non-conference foe, Marquette, April 8.