Tennis teams exit weekend with two big wins, one loss

Although its only mid-February, the NIU men’s and women’s tennis team have been busy competing—indoors, of course.

For Coach Patty Groth’s team, things went well last weekend, despite Sunday’s 5-4 loss to Southern Illinois University. On Friday, the Huskies came away with a 6-3 win against Toledo at the Aurora Racquet Club. Marquette University slipped to NIU the followng day in Aurora, 5-4.

“We played great (against Toledo). We executed well on returns and just played solid singles,” Groth said. “We drilled all week and it paid off. The win over Marquette was excellent. They’re probably our biggest rivals. It was especially satisfying since they beat us 7-2 during the autumn.”

This coming weekend, NIU plays on the road against Southwest Missouri State, Gustavus Adolphus College, Nebraska and Drake.

First-year men’s coach Charles Merzbacher finished his weekend segment with a 2-1 mark.

The Huskies dominated play against Illinois-Chicago, 9-0, and Marquette, 8-1. However, the Midwest’s top-rated squad—Wisconsin—dealt NIU a convincing 8-1 loss. With the weekend matches, the Huskies even out their season record at 4-4.

“We lost enough opening sets to lead me to believe we were going to be trailing 4-2. To come back and win the match 8-1 is just great,” said Merzbacher. “It says a lot about our guys and their toughness.

“We certainly wanted to have a better showing against Wisconsin, but I think the other two matches had taken a lot out of us; but they have a good team.”

NIU returns to DeKalb for a rare home appearance as the Huskies welcome Southern Illinois to the Recreation Building Saturday for a 4 p.m. match.