Northern Illinois head men’s tennis coach Patrick Fisher announced Wednesday the signing of Chicago native and Walter Payton Prep High School product Matt Goralka, who will begin his four-year eligibility with the Huskies beginning in the Fall 2010 season. Goralka represents the fourth signing under Fisher, who was hired as NIU’s coach on Aug. 21.
“We’re extremely happy to be welcoming Matt into our program next season,” said Fisher. “He, along with Roman (Turtygin), Maksym (Bartiuk) and Max (Phillips) are going to represent the cornerstone of NIU tennis for the next few years.
“Matt is a winner; he really knows the game, is great at negating an opponents’ strengths, and exploiting their weaknesses out on the court. He’ll have an easier transition to college tennis than some of our newer international players, just because he played in a team setting at Walter Payton. One of the things I’m extremely excited about with Matt is that he is going to put an imprint on us bringing some good Midwest players to NIU in the future.”
Goralka, a four-star recruit according to TennisRecruiting.net, is a 5-foot-9 inch left-hander. He played No. 1 singles for Walter Payton, and on the junior tournament circuit, has been ranked as a top-10 player in the Midwest. In the final 2008 rankings, Goralka was ranked in the top-100 of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) national rankings, and was tabbed No. 9 in the Midwest Region.
Goralka, who was also recruited by the likes of Indiana and Iowa, enjoyed a very successful run on the junior circuit in 2009. He advanced to the singles finals of the Lincolnshire (Ill.) November Challenge (Nov. 13-15) and the Great Pumpkin Smash (Oct. 16-18 in Chicago), and captured the individual championships at both the MAC Spring Challenger (May 8-10 in Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Snowball Classic (Dec. 12-14, 2008 in Griffith, Ind.). Goralka also played in the Kalamazoo (Mich.) National Hardcourt Championships.