DePaul, Marquette to test NIU netmen

By Chris Sigley

It’s a safe bet that the NIU men’s tennis team will win at least two of its four matches this weekend on the Gullikson Tennis Courts.

NIU coach Carl Neufeld said he is looking for tough matches against DePaul (8-2) today at 3 p.m. and Marquette (13-9) Friday at 3 p.m.

But the Huskies’ matches against St. Francis (4-11 prior to this week’s matches) at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, and Drake (2-13 prior to Wednesday’s match) should give some playing time to the NIU backups.

“DePaul is pretty good and they’ve got some new players,” Neufeld said. “Marquette will be tough too.

“Drake has a new coach and they’re a little better, although I don’t see why we would lose to them. We should beat them handily. They’re not as stiff of a test as DePaul or Marquette.”

But when all is said and done, Neufeld said he won’t be stewing over the results. The Huskie boss just wants to see his team show improvement.

“I’m a little less concerned with if we win or not, I’m more concerned with how we play,” Neufeld said. “Winning isn’t the answer, nor is it the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to play the best we can play. If we play our best, I’d like to think we can win most of the matches.”

The Huskies catapult into this weekend with a four-game home sweep from last weekend. The Huskies won 35 of their 36 matches to top Western Illinois, Northeastern Illinois, Augustana and the University of Chicago.

Next week, the Huskies are scheduled to play Illinois State Tuesday, and they are rescheduled to play Northwestern on Thursday. The match against the Wildcats was cancelled because of inclement weather.