Men’s tennis wins MAC regular season championship

By Darwin Minnis

DeKalb | The Huskies are sole owners of the title MAC regular season champions after taking down the Buffalo Bulls (11-6, 1-2 MAC) with a 5-2 win Friday.

This marks the first time in program history NIU has claimed the MAC regular season championship.

“It feels good,” said head coach Patrick Fisher. “This was one of our goals all season and we accomplished it. It’s a great thing for our program. We’ve worked really hard for this all season, and it always feels good to be rewarded.”

The Huskies finished the season at 18-5 overall, going an undefeated 4-0 in conference play. They also kept a perfect home record all season, going 14-0.

NIU started Friday with a point in doubles but not without trouble.

“We started off shaky in doubles,” Fisher said. “But we regained our edge and got the point.”

In the No. 1, Axel Lagerlof and Dor Amir beat Buffalo’s Jonathan Hannestad and Sergio Arevalillo, 8-4. The second win in doubles came in the No. 2, where Frederic Cadieux and Simon Formont got an 8-6 win over Akhil Mehta and Sebastian Ionescu.

The Huskies jumped on their lead early in singles, taking the first two matches to finish. In the No. 4, Jovan Zeljkovic beat Arevalillo, 6-1, 6-1. In the No. 5, Formont was second to finish, and he got a 6-4, 6-1 win over Hannestad.

Buffalo responded by taking the next two to finish. Ionescu took the No. 2 against Lagerlof, 6-3, 7-5. In the No. 1, Buffalo’s Damien David beat out Amir, 6-4, 7-5.

The score was 3-2 at this point, but the Huskies sealed the win in the No. 3 when Cadieux took down Pablo Alvarez, 6-1, 5-7, 6-1. NIU also won in the No. 6, where Matt Lynch defeated Mehta, 7-5, 2-6.

“Our 4, 5 and 6 really stepped up,” Fisher said. “That was the difference in getting the win in this match.”

Up next for the Huskies is the MAC Championship tournament starting Friday. NIU has earned the top seed in the tournament.