Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899


Ensure student journalism survives. Donate today.

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Men’s tennis eliminated by Toledo

Tim Dodge
Freshman Saul Berdullas (left) and senior Armin Koschtojan (right) talk strategy during a doubles match on March 2. NIU men’s tennis was eliminated from the MAC Championship on Saturday with a 4-0 loss to the University of Toledo. (Northern Star File Photo)

NIU men’s tennis (18-6, 7-3 MAC) has ended its season after being knocked out of the MAC Championship tournament semifinals by the University of Toledo Rockets (13-10, 7-3 MAC). 

“It’s a disappointing loss,” said NIU men’s tennis head coach René Vidal via NIU Athletics. “The guys fought hard, but we didn’t execute at the highest level, which is what it takes to win these kinds of matches.”

The Huskies dropped the doubles point after losing two of three matches before losing three straight singles matches to end the season. 

Seniors Cheng En Tsai and Mikael Vollbach were narrowly defeated by graduate student Marko Galic and senior Pawit Sornlaksup, losing in a 7-6 (7-2) set. Freshman Saul Berdullas and senior Armin Koschtojan were bested by junior Hanamichi Carvajal and freshman Poonthong Komolpisut by a score of 6-3. 

The lone win for NIU came from sophomores Iker Gaztambide Arrastia and Christopher Norlin, who took a 6-4 win over freshman Charlie Snow and senior Adam Kovac.  

The luck did not turn around for NIU in singles, with three matches won by Toledo and the other three left incomplete once Toledo sealed the win. 

In two 6-1 sets, Tsai was dominated in the loss to Sornlaksup. Komolpisut defeated Koschtojan in 6-3, 6-4 sets. 

The last loss for the Huskies came when Gaztambide Arrastia forced a third set against Carvajal. After dropping a 6-4 first set, he took a 7-5 second set to force a third, where he lost by a score of 6-2.  

Vollbach was up in a 3-1 third set against Galic, after losing the first 6-4 and winning the second set 6-4. Berdullas took a close 7-5 set against Kovac before dropping the second set 6-4. The third set was locked 1-1 at the conclusion of the match. 

After winning a 6-5 first set, Norlin was playing a close 6-6 second set against sophomore Matias Olivero when the match was called. 

Vidal reflected on the season that the team had. 

“Our team deserves a lot of credit for an overall great season,” Vidal said via NIU Athletics. “Every one of us had to manage change and adversity in a way that worked for us rather than against us. That’s the beauty of tennis and being a true team.”

The Huskies end their season with an 18-6 overall record and a 7-3 record in the MAC.

More to Discover