Men’s tennis hopes to gain momentum with its final non-conference match-up this weekend


There’s no stopping a train that’s chugging along, but when it’s hardly moving, you’ve got to do something to get its momentum going.

That’s what NIU men’s tennis will be looking to do as it concludes the non-conference portion of its season Saturday. The Huskies (4-6) will travel to Carbondale to take on Southern Illinois University.

The Salukis (6-4) have allowed only one point in their three previous matches before taking on UT-Martin last night while NIU will be looking to end a three-match skid heading into MAC play.

While the teams seem to be moving in opposite directions, head coach Pawel Gajdzik is confident that his team won’t be intimidated by SIU’s recent success and should be able to hang with the Salukis.

“I think we’re just going to go out there and play our game,” Gajdzik said. “We won’t be looking at their past results. Every team is different, and we definitely cannot overlook them. But if we go out there, compete and play the Huskies’ game, we’ll be fine.”

NIU’s match in Carbondale will be the fifth of its current six-match road swing in which the Huskies are currently 1-3. Trying to build momentum as they move toward their first MAC match against Chicago State is a huge priority for the Huskies.

“Well, I think we’re just going to go into this match and install a few different things to see what’s going to give us the best, ideal lineup for the conference,” Gajdzik said. “Before conference, I think we’ve done what we were supposed to do.”

The Saturday match will likely be outdoors, which may pose a challenge to the Huskies who have been making the transition from playing indoors to outdoors often this season. Also, due to chilly weather, the Huskies have been forced to practice inside.

“Well, indoors and outdoors are completely two different styles of playing,” Gajdzik said. “Especially right now, early in the season with the conditions, [they] will not be perfect. You will see some strange results. For our team, we just need to come out ready every day for what our opponent throws at us and go out and play our game.”