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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Men’s tennis grabs fifth straight MAC win

Tim Dodge
NIU senior Armin Koschtojan gets set to serve in a doubles match on March 2. Koschtojan was one of five NIU men’s tennis players to win a singles match in a 5-2 win over the University at Buffalo Friday. (Northern Star File Photo)

Earning its fifth straight win in MAC competition, NIU men’s tennis (17-3, 6-1 MAC) defeated the University of Buffalo (4-13, 0-8 MAC) in a 5-2 victory. The Huskies are now above Western Michigan in the standings, holding first place in the conference. 

NIU was down 2-1 early before rallying in singles matches to come out with the win. 

Seniors Cheng En Tsai and Mikael Vollbach were defeated in a close 7-6 loss by senior Finn Macnamara and junior Daniils Snaiders. Freshman Saul Berdullas and senior Armin Koschtojan were also defeated by Buffalo duo sophomore Theodoros Mitsakos and freshman Michael Malkin in a 6-4 set. 

The only doubles victory for the Huskies came when sophomores Iker Gastambide Arrastia and Christopher Norlin won a 6-2 set against junior Yu-Shiang Huang and sophomore Yunhan Jiang. 

Gaztambide Arrastia was the first to win a point for the Huskies, controlling his match against Jiang in two straight 6-2 set victories. Tsai bested Snaiders in a 6-2 first set, before playing a close 7-6 set to earn the victory. Koschtojan defeated Huang in 7-4, 6-4 sets. 

Berdullas clinched the win for the Huskies in three sets against Malkin. After dominating the first set 6-1, he dropped the second set 6-4 before coming back and taking a 6-3 third set. Norlin also took his set against Macnamara to three sets, winning 6-4, 1-6, 6-2. 

The only singles loss for the Huskies came when Vollbach lost to Mitsakos in a 7-5, 6-1 defeat.

“It’s always tough to play an opponent who has nothing to lose,” said NIU men’s tennis head coach René Vidal via NIU Athletics. “Coach Shao (Yu) and I are proud of how we responded to the conditions. We look forward to our next match on Sunday.”

NIU men’s tennis looks to earn its sixth straight MAC win at noon CT Sunday at the UT Varsity Tennis Courts in Toledo, Ohio, when they take on the University of Toledo. A live stream will be available on ESPN+ and live stats will be provided via IonCourt.

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