Struggles continue for both tennis teams


There’s not a situation in the world where a person wouldn’t want to end on a good note.

That is something that NIU’s seniors were unable to do after their last home match of the season on this weekend’s Senior Day as they had to bust out the brooms and clean up their home court.

The sweep was not theirs to celebrate, however.

After opening MAC play last week with a 7-0 sweep of Chicago State, the NIU men’s tennis team was subjected to a sweep themselves at the hands of pre-season MAC favorite Western Michigan (14-8 overall, 3-0 MAC). The win was the Broncos’ 20th straight MAC win.

The Huskies (5-8, 1-1) had trouble closing out their matches against WMU as seniors Shaun Stewart and Jimmy Chu suffered straight-set losses at the No. 3 and No. 5 positions, respectively. They were not alone, though, as NIU failed to win a single set on Sunday despite holding sizeable leads in three of six singles matches.

Freshman Jurica Grubisic held a 4-0 lead at the No. 1 spot but couldn’t close out the match and fell to WMU’s Kevin Hayward, 7-5, 6-2. Chu and freshman Ross VanderPloeg suffered similar fates as they held two and three point leads, respectively, before falling.

“If we knew [why we couldn’t close], we wouldn’t be talking about it,” said Pawel Gajdzik, NIU head men’s coach . “We have a lot of first semester freshmen, who haven’t played in the MAC, so that inexperience is a factor. It was a high caliber match, and maybe we’re not confident with the underdog role, so we were surprised when we were ahead and couldn’t keep it going.”

The NIU women’s tennis team had similar troubles this weekend, dropping two 6-1 decisions on Friday and Saturday to Bowling Green and Western Michigan, respectively.

Freshman Emily Rogers scored the Huskies’ only points on the weekend, extending her individual winning streak to five in the process.