Men’s tennis dismantles Ball State

By Darwin Minnis

Men’s tennis (15-5, 2-0 MAC) took down its second conference opponent of the season Saturday.

The Huskies beat Ball State, 6-1, in their first match played at NIU on the season. The win puts them at a perfect 12-0 at home and 1-0 in DeKalb.

NIU jumped ahead by taking the doubles point with two wins. Redshirt junior Dor Amir and senior Axel Lagerlof continued their season success, getting the 8-4 win over Ball State’s Austin Smith and Ray Leonard in the No. 1.

The second doubles win came in the No. 3, where NIU’s Matt Lynch and Jovan Zeljkovic beat out Lucas Andersen and Matt Helm, 8-3.

Head coach Patrick Fisher said he was happy with the team’s all-around effort.

“I was really impressed with Jovan and Matt,” Fisher said. “And Dor and Axel continued doing what they do, leading by example. It was a great, complete team effort.”

In singles, NIU took five of the six matches, but it did not do so without some difficulty.

In the No. 2, Lagerlof won in 2 sets against Patrick Elliott, 6-4, 6-3.

In the No. 5, Simon Formont defeated Andrew Stutz, 7-5, 6-1.

The rest of the wins did not come as easily.

In the No. 1, Amir took three back-and-forth sets to take down Leonard, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

In the No. 4, Zeljkovic beat Smith, but he needed a super tie break in doing so, 5-7, 7-6 and (10-6).

In the No. 6, Lynch got the win over Patrick Downs. He started off slowly but recovered in a 0-6, 6-1, 6-3 final.

The win over Ball State and last week’s win against Western Michigan mark the second time since 1974 NIU has beaten both teams in a season.