Men’s tennis: NIU plays host during MAC Championship tourney


Then sophomore Simon Formont hits a ball back against Toledo April 12, 2014, in DeKalb. Men’s tennis (5-3) played three games over the weekend, starting with a 4-3 loss to Southern Illinois University on Friday but moving on to finish the weekend 2-1 with wins against Chicago State University on Friday and Saint Louis University on Saturday.

By Patrick Smith

Men’s tennis will look to win the program’s first MAC Championship when it hosts the tournament this weekend.

The Huskies (18-5, 4-1) will take on the Buffalo Bulls (10-10, 2-3) for the second time in six days when the teams meet at 10 a.m. Friday at the West Tennis Courts.

The semifinal between the Western Michigan Broncos and the Binghamton Bearcats is 2 p.m. Friday. The championship match between the winner of each semifinal is 1 p.m. Saturday in DeKalb.

“It’s going to be tough facing Buffalo the second time around,” said head coach Patrick Fisher. “They [were] picked five spots ahead of us, and they [were] picked to win the MAC, so they’re a good team. We’re going to have to step up and have a great game like last week.”

The Huskies beat the Bulls, 5-2, when the teams met Sunday in Buffalo, N.Y., and they captured their second-straight MAC regular season championship.

“Yes, I think that we’re pretty confident,” said senior Frederic Cadieux. “If we play Buffalo like we did last week to win the MAC [regular season] championship we’re confident that we’ll win.”

The Huskies have competed in every MAC Championship since 1999, but they have yet to win.

“We come into every MAC tournament believing that we can win,” Fisher said. “We believed that we could have won in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and we still had the same mindset that we had this year. Hopefully, this year we will pull through.”

Cadieux said the players are confident they’ll bring the title to NIU for the first time.

“We will go into this tournament and give it our best shot, and I think that’s good enough for us to break through and finally win the MAC Championships,” Cadieux said.