Men’s tennis extends streak to nine matches

By Brian Wiencek

Sometimes you have to wonder if there is no stopping the NIU men’s tennis team. After a weekend sweep of Western Illinois, 7-0, and Southern Illinois, 5-2, the Huskies have made believers of a streak that is doing just that—not stopping.

NIU extended two of their three winning streaks over the weekend. Overall, the Huskies have currently won nine matches in a row, and their Mid-Continent Conference streak has been stretched to 21.

Against the Leathernecks, NIU took charge and won eight of the nine total matches. With a 1-0 lead, care of the doubles squads, the singles carried the torch onward to another shutout.

No. 1 singles player Marty Engel (6-1, 6-4), No. 4 Steve Senter (6-3, 6-1), No. 5 Andy Caldwell (6-1, 6-3), and No. 6 Corey Westphal (6-0, 6-1) all won in straight sets, while No. 2 Dustin Dobrin (6-3, 4-6, 6-0) and No. 3 David Settelmyer (5-7, 6-1, 6-2) pitched in with big wins.

“This was good to not only win, but win decisively,” said NIU head coach Tim Madden. “Going into the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament, we feel we can win every time out.”

“We’ve proven we are without a doubt the deepest team in the conference. Today, we won easily at the lower levels.”

In Carbondale, the Huskies took victories in the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles matches to open up with the 1-0 lead.

No. 1 Engel kept the winning ways going with a win in three sets (6-2, 3-6, 7-6), while No. 3 Settelmyer (6-4, 2-6, 6-1), and No. 4 Senter (3-6, 6-3, 6-1) did the same.

“Steve and David won and we were all pretty excited,” said Madden. “Marty just hung in there and won a tiebreaker against a good player to sort of rub it in.”

“This was a match we desperately wanted to win. We wanted it more and more as the match went on. We outclassed and outplayed them from start to finish.”

With just one match remaining in the regular season for the Huskies (this Wednesday on the West Campus Courts against DePaul), they’ve upped their ledger to 14-11 (6-0 in the Mid-Con).

“With the conference tournament coming up, we’re excited right now,” said Madden. “We just keep playing better and better every week, and we’re coming together at the right time.”