ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's tennis team improved to 4-1 Friday with two wins at Boylan Tennis Center, capturing victories over Dayton, 5-2, and previously unbeaten Valparaiso, 7-0. The Huskies will have a chance to improve to 5-1 Sunday with their match versus UIC to complete their weekend home stand.
"We played better today than we did last week," said Head Coach Patrick Fisher, "the energy in doubles was awesome and we improved from last week, so I'm really happy about that, but, I know we can be much better. We're looking forward to playing UIC on Sunday. They're going to be very good this year.
"I'm just really proud of the guys," add Fisher, "I thought we had a great week of practice this week and it showed in our matches tonight."
The Huskies won the doubles point in both matches, improving upon last weeks effort where they captured the point against Chicago State and lost it to UW-Whitewater.
With the early advantage in the opener against the Flyers, NIU's middle of the lineup dominated Dayton with straight set victories at Nos. 3-5. Frederic Cadieux extended his spring unbeaten streak to five matches with a 6-4, 6-2 victory at No. 3. Max Phillips (No. 4) and Simon Formont (No. 5) were also amongst those that claimed victory in the pack, while Dor Amir grinded out a three set victory at No. 2, 6-3, 3-6, 10-7.
Following a brief spaghetti and meatball break in the team room, Northern Illinois took on the Crusaders, who entered the contest with a 3-0 mark.
From start-to-finish, the Huskies paced the match against Valpo as they sprinted to the doubles point in quick fashion, including an 8-2 victory at No. 1 by Amir and Cadieux over undefeated pair Eric Honert and Lucas Waak. Lagerlof and Formont clinched the point with their win, forcing No. 3 duo, Phillips and Jovan Zeljkovic, to abandon their match with a 7-6 lead.
At Nos. 1-5, NIU claimed straight-set victories, including a 6-1, 6-0 triumph by Cadieux. Lagerlof claimed the win at No. 1 over Honert for his lone singles win of the day, defeating the Crusaders ace, 6-1, 7-5. Zeljkovic claimed a three set victory over Brian Hickey to round out the Huskies clean sweep of Valparaiso, 7-5, 5-7, 10-4.
Northern Illinois will return to the court against in-state foe Illinois-Chicago Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The Huskies will again play at Boylan Tennis Center in Rockford and hope to improve to the first 5-1 start under Fisher.