ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Northern Illinois men’s team won its six-consecutive match Saturday night when it defeated Saint Louis, 6-1. The Huskies were close to a 7-0 sweep but senior Max Phillips was forced to retire with 4-1 lead in the second set at No. 4 that forced a point to the Billikens.
"Today we dealt with some unusual, adverse conditions during our match that I hope we can learn from and make us better later in the season,” said Head Coach Patrick Fisher. “With that being said we won convincingly today. I would have loved for Max to finish his match as he was well on his way to winning.
Looking ahead, Fisher said “tomorrow will be tough, we have a short turn around playing late today and early tomorrow, but we must deal with it and be ready to play a team that has not lost this season in SIUe. We know they will try to come after us.”
NIU clinched the doubles point to gain the early 1-0 advantage with victories by Axel Lagerlof and Simon Formont at No. 2, 8-7 (0), and Phillips and Jovan Zeljkovic at No. 3, 8-5.
In singles play, Northern Illinois showed its strength from top-to-bottom in the lineup with two set victories at Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 5. Lagerlof defeated his opponent Bobby Kidera, 6-1, 6-1, while Dor Amir dominated at No. 3, 6-1, 6-2. Formont also played with strength, defeating Luis Miguel Flores, 6-2, 6-1. Zeljkovic was the lone player to go three sets, dropping his first set but rallying back in the second and third, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Phillips, at No. 4, dropped his first set 6-3, but played with gusto in the second set that led to a 4-1 lead, but he was forced to retire which gave a point to SLU’s Drew Feder.
The Huskies will close their weekend on the road tomorrow afternoon with their match at in-state foe SIU-Edwardsville.