Three Huskies earn MAC postseason honors


Tim Dodge

NIU freshman tennis player Iker Gaztambide Arrastia completes a serve against University of Toledo’s Marko Galic, a senior, during their singles match on April 7 at DeKalb High School. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter

DeKALB – Three of NIU’s men’s tennis team members received post-season honors, NIU announced Wednesday

Iker Gaztambide Arrastia won the MAC Freshman of the Year award while senior Oliver Valentinsson and junior Mikael Vollbach secured Second Team All-MAC honors.

Gaztambide Arrastia boasted a 15-8 overall record through singles competition, while six of his 15 victories came against MAC opponents. In dual matches, Gaztambide Arrastia had an almost perfect performance, achieving a 12-1 record overall and a flawless 7-0 record in the MAC.

The four-year veteran Valentinsson earned a 13-8 dual match record with 18 of his 21 matches coming at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots. Valentinsson also secured 10 doubles wins – six alongside junior Armin Koschtojan and four with All-MAC winner Gaztambide Arrastia. This marks the third consecutive year Valentinsson received All-MAC honors.

Vollbach received All-MAC honors for the first time in his career after a stellar 2023 campaign. Vollbach posted a 14-6 record in singles, with 11 of 14 wins coming at the No. 3 spot.

Vollbach, alongside junior Cheng En Tsai, secured an outstanding 15-5 record in dual matches, playing all 20 matches at the illustrious No. 1 spot.

NIU finished 2023 with a 13-10 overall record and a 4-6 record in the MAC. The Huskies have had 24 All-MAC performers under Patrick Fisher’s tenure.