Men’s tennis to open season in Wisconsin

By Patrick Smith

Men’s tennis will begin its season this week as it faces off against the University of Wisconsin on Friday.

The Huskies will be looking to start the season on a good note against a tough Big Ten opponent in the Badgers. NIU went 18-5 and 4-1 in the MAC last season, winning the division for a second consecutive year.

The Huskies lost to fourth- seeded Buffalo (10-10, 2-3 MAC) in the MAC Tournament despite being the top team in the conference. Buffalo then went on to win the conference championship.

There’s a long season ahead for NIU, but it begins with a Wisconsin opponent who went just 7-18 last year. The Badgers have not finished a season with a winning record since 2012-13 when they went 13-12.

NIU’s solid 2014-15 season was led by then-senior Frederic Cadieux, who ended his career with quite a few accolades, including tying for third-most singles victories with 95 and tying for ninth in Huskies history in doubles victories with 66. Sophomore Carlos Manzanas went 21-10 in his freshman year, sophomore Tom Hjertonsson went 19-15 and sophomore Louis-Philippe Hamel went 20-9 and held the best win percentage on the team.

Players like sophomore Kevin Daun and senior Simon Formont will also have opportunities to play pivotal roles and help the Huskies maintain their dominance in the MAC. Five of nine players on this year’s team are sophomores, and the team will have just one freshman, Eric Schuette.

NIU went 8-5 on the road, 6-1 at home and 4-0 in neutral locations in 2014. The team will host just two home games for the first couple months of the season.

Matches are set to start at 5 p.m. Friday in Madison, Wis. It’ll be the first of three games on the weekend for the Huskies as they are also set to play a double-header on Sunday in DeKalb against Detroit and UW-Whitewater beginning at 11 a.m.