April 19, 2012
DeKALB, Ill. - The Huskies will close the regular season Friday when they head to the Windy City for a doubleheader with Chicago State and UIC. CSU (0-20, 0-3 MAC) will be Northern Illinois' (19-7, 3-1 MAC) final Mid-American Conference tennis contest of the year.
NIU was on a quest last weekend to secure its first-ever MAC Championship when it hosted Toledo and Buffalo in Dekalb and Rockford, respectively. The Huskies opened on Saturday with a strong 5-2 triumph over the Rockets to improve to 3-0 in the MAC and setup a clash for the championship with Buffalo, also 3-0.
The Bulls charged in doubles to take the early point, but NIU battled in singles, taking Nos. 1-3 in three set matches but were unable to capture any of the points there. Frederic Cadieux won in straight sets at No. 5, 6-1, 6-3, and Maximilian Phillips clinched at No. 6 with a 6-4, 6-2 win but the Huskies fell, 5-2.
Chicago State is winless in 2012 and carries an 0-20 record overall but has knocked on victories door a couple of times this season with no answer. The Cougars nearly defeated Western Illinois April 1, claiming singles victories at Nos. 1, 5 and 6, but were unable to come up with anything else and fell 4-3. On March 13 CSU played NJIT to 5-2 score as well.
UIC is 3-14 this season and is fresh off its first Horizon League win of the season against Youngstown State, 4-3, on April 15. The Flames have only played one Mid-American Conference opponent this season in Western Michigan and were swept by Broncos, 7-0. Illinois-Chicago is also closing out its regular season this weekend and will play Valparaiso on Sunday afternoon to finish 2012.
Northern Illinois has a lot at stake this weekend. With a win over the Cougars, the Huskies would clinch the No. 2 seed in the MAC Tournament and earn a first round bye to play the winner of the No. 3 seed and No. 6 seed match.
NIU will play for the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament next weekend at the Mid-American Conference Tournament, hosted by Toledo, April 26-28.