Tennis teams come from behind with doubles play

By Kari Brackett

The NIU men’s and women’s tennis teams did not et weather hamper play this weekend as both teams came away with victories.

The men had three straight victories, bringing their record to 22-10, winning Friday and Saturday’s St. Ambrose College Quadrangular, and the women defeated Ohio State 5-4.

The men’s first win came Friday against Bradley with a final score of 6-3. Singles competition was tied 3-3, but the NIU doubles teams were the deciding factors as the Huskies came away with all three victories.

Northern Iowa and St. Ambrose were the next two NIU victims. The Huskies downed both teams 5-1. In the meet against Northern Iowa, NIU’s only loss came from Rob Martin, who was defeated by Pierre Bernard 7-6 (7-3), 6-1. Because of rain, doubles play was eliminated and the meet against St. Ambrose was played indoors. St. Ambrose’s only win came from No. 2 singles player D.K. Pierson, beating Dan Bowers 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

For NIU Coach Carl Neufeld, the sweetest victory came when his team defeated St. Ambrose. Neufeld said he was happy for this win because St. Ambrose beat Iowa State, who defeated NIU earlier this year.

“We should have won against Iowa (State),” Neufeld said. “But the next best thing is beating a team who did win over Iowa (State).”

Neufeld said he is very happy with the team this year. He said that seeds one, three and five are new players who are either freshmen or transfers from junior colleges.

“Freshmen can’t usually be relied on, because of the new level of experience,” Neufeld said.

One freshman in particular Neufeld is pleased with is Steve Wiere. Wiere is the No. 1 singles player, which is the only second time in NIU history a freshman has been in the top spot.

The upcoming weekend is a big one for the men’s team. On Thursday NIU hosts Valparaiso which is followed by three matches on Saturday and the home finale next Tuesday.

For the women’s team, rain canceled two of the three scheduled games, but NIU made the most of its opportunity to play.

NIU had a slow start against Ohio and found themselves behind 4-2 after the singles round. However, the Huskies did not give up and swept all three doubles matches to give the team its one-point victory.

“This was a great win,” NIU Coach Patty Fick said. “It was really exciting the way we came back.”

Seniors Torrey Lott and Sari Dinerman rebounded from singles losses to win their No. 1 doubles match in two sets 6-1, 6-2. LeeAnne Milne and Amy Andersen, who lost their first round 5-7, came back with a 6-1, 6-4 win. The Huskies’ No. 3 duo of Kris Whitney and Heidi VanLankvelt defeated Ohio’s pair 6-4, 0-6, 6-4.

“Everyone played excellently at doubles,” Fick said. “All three pairs were real aggressive.”