Mens tennis wraps up ITA Regionals

By Julian Nunnery

The men’s tennis team concluded play in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Midwest regionals at the University of Michigan Saturday. The Huskies were led by seniors Georg Lundkvist and Eric Marbach who reached the round of 16 in the doubles draw.

The duo opened with an 8-5 win over Vince Anzalone and Serjen Olmedo of the University of Toledo. They continued their success in the second round defeating DePaul University’s Christopher Casati and Fran Tonejc, 8-4.

In the third round, the pair could not fend off Eric Olivarez and Nick Schnobel of Western Michigan University and fell 8-5.

Still not even a fifth of the way through the season, Head Coach Patrick Fisher is very optimistic about his team’s potential.

“I don’t think we’re anywhere [near] close to how good we can be,” Fisher said. “We have such a [high] growth curve with this team and I think we have the potential to be really really good. Every tournament we’ve taken a step forward.”

The other two Huskie duos that competed in the doubles draw did not have much luck. Seniors Louis-Philippe Hamel and Tom Hjertonsson were ousted, 8-3, by the University of Notre Dame’s William Howells and Alex Lebedev in the first round.

Freshmen Kristopher Ortega and Victor Spolidorio also fell in the first round of play, 8-3, to Marcelo Dib and Niko Wasilewicz of University of Illinois at Chicago.

A pair of seniors highlighted singles play for the Huskies. Both Lundkvist and Hamel won their first round singles qualifying matches before losing in the second round qualifiers.

Lundkvist defeated Valparaiso University’s Daniel Langston (7-5, 7-6, (5)) in the first round before coming up short against Nico Mostardi of Cleveland State University (6-4, 6-4) in the second.

Hamel picked up a win (6-3, 6-3) in the first round over UIC’s Wasilewicz but fell in the second to Boris Spanjaard of Depaul in three sets (6-2, 4-6, 6-4).

The other three Huskies who competed in the singles draw were all defeated in three sets in their first round matches. Spolidorio fell (6-2, 2-6, 6-4) to Olivarez, while Marbach was defeated by University of Detroit Mercy’s Luka Soskie (2-6, 6-3, 7-5) and Hjertonsson fell short (3-6, 6-2, 6-3) to Paul Gota of Notre Dame.

Head Coach Patrick Fisher, although proud of his team’s performance, spoke on the need for better critical decision making.

“We’ve got to improve on making better choices in the tighter moments,” Fisher said. “That hurt us a little bit.”

NIU will take a two week break to practice before they return to action to play in the Cleveland State Viking Invitational.

The three-day tournament will begin Nov. 3 and continue through Nov. 5 in Cleveland. The team only has two events remaining in the fall portion of its season.