Men’s tennis still perfect at home

By Darwin Minnis

Men’s tennis continued their home dominance when they played Butler, Western Illinois and Dayton over the weekend.

The Huskies put their perfect 7-0 home record on the line vs. Butler (6-3) Thursday in Rockford.

NIU started off on the right foot in doubles, earning its first doubles point in its last three games. Huskies No. 1 doubles team Dor Amir and Axel Lagerlof continued their nationally-recognized level of play against Butler’s Billy Weldon and Sam O’Neill, winning 8-4. Matt Lynch and Jovan Zeljkovic won in the No. 3 against Butler’s doubles team, brothers Alex and Austin Woldmoe, giving NIU the 1-0 lead going into singles.

The Huskies took all six matches in singles. In the No. 1 match, Frederic Cadieux took on Butler’s Pulok Bhattacharya, winning 6-2, 6-1. In the No. 5 match, Simon Formont continued his undefeated singles record, beating Weldon 6-2, 2-0.

Head coach Patrick Fisher had nothing but praise for his team, pointing out specifically Cadieux’s play, but wants the team to stay humble.

“[Cadieux] really stepped it up this weekend, playing No. 1 singles and dominating some really good players,” Fisher said. “If you were to ask him or anyone else on our team, they wouldn’t take credit. I think that’s the character of this team.”

The Huskies took on Western Illinois (1-6) and Dayton (1-6) in a double header Saturday in Rockford.

Against Western Illinois, every match went NIU’s way. They defeated the Leathernecks, 7-0. NIU went 3-0 in doubles matches to give them the 1-0 lead into singles.

Singles had some close matches, but the Huskies finished 6-0. In the No. 1 match, Cadieux beat Western’s Christoph Haertel 6-3, 6-2. Formont kept his undefeated singles season alive against WIU’s Brandon Meeker, winning 6-4, 7-5.

The Huskies then faced Dayton in the evening cap. NIU continued its high level of playing, winning the shortened match, 4-0.

In doubles, all three matches went the Huskies’ way. No. 37 Amir and Lagerlof won the No. 1 against Flyers Aidan Koross and Bernardo Sanson, 8-1. They are now 12-1 on the season.

In singles, it only took three wins for NIU to get the victory. In the No. 1 match, Cadieux defeated Koross 6-3, 6-0. Lynch had a comeback win in the No. 5 match against Dayton’s Andy Druffel. Lynch lost the first set 2-6, before winning the next two, 6-1 and 7-5.

The Huskies have an extended break with their next match March 6. Fisher said he sees the break as valuable.

“I can already tell, and it’s not even mid-way through the season, our team needs time off,” Fisher said. “Our spring season is just unbelievable when it comes to our daily travel schedule.”