No. 4 Story of the Year: Men’s tennis fails again in postseason play


Redshirt junior Dor Amir returns a serve against Toledo April 12. Men’s tennis is a win away from securing sole ownership of the regular season MAC Championship.

By Darwin Minnis

For the third straight season under head coach Patrick Fisher, men’s tennis made it to the MAC Tournament and failed to come out on top.

After an 18-5 regular season, a 4-0 conference record and earning the title of MAC regular season champions, the Huskies came into the tournament with the top seed and a match against Buffalo, which they beat April 18. The team was in position to bring NIU its first MAC Tournament Championship in the program’s history, but NIU failed to pull together a win, losing 4-2 in the semi-finals round.

After starting off with the doubles point and a 1-0 lead, the Huskies took the first match in singles. A 2-0 lead was quickly erased as the Bulls won the next two to even it up. The Huskies failed to win another singles match and Buffalo walked away with the 4-2 win.

While disappointed with a third straight MAC Tournament exit, Fisher tried to remain focused on the team’s success over the past few seasons.

“Losing for a third time is tough, but it doesn’t take away from our accomplishments,” Fisher said. “Looking back when I took over the program in 2009, it’s unbelievable to see what we have accomplished with our resources.”

With three straight winning seasons and three straight MAC Tournament appearances, this team has almost every accomplishment it could want, including having one of the winningest senior classes in NIU history.

“What we tell the guys is to make the most of your time here, leave something for the program to build upon and improve on,” Fisher said. “And these guys have really done that.”

The team will be hungry for another run at the championship.

“We’re going to do everything we can to get back,” Fisher said. “We have done it for three years. We established consistency and established ourselves as a viable program. I didn’t inherit it like this; we built it. We built it with guys who put in a lot of effort and who have good character.”