Men’s tennis closes season

By Marc Wesner

At last, the playoffs.

The NIU men’s tennis team finally gets to see the fruit of their labors when they travel to Valparasio University for the Mid-Continent Conference Championships this weekend.

Favored to claim the title for a third straight time, the Huskies, undefeated in conference play this year, will face some tough adversity as the competition looks to knock them off their throne.

“There are a few teams that played tough with us,” explained head coach Tim Madden. “It’s hard to say who’s going to pull it together for the tournament. We’ve done well, going 6-0 during the regular season so hopefully we can continue to play well and win the championship.”

Leading the Huskie charge will be sophomore Marty Engel and seniors Dustin Dobrin and Steve Senter. As a freshman last season, Engel was the Mid-Con Player of the Year and named to the All Mid-Continent Conference Team. Dobrin and Senter have both been named to the All-Mid-Con Team over the past two seasons (91-92).

The tourney marks the last hurrah for Dobrin and Senter as they grace the courts to represent NIU for the last time.

Both faltered in their last home match against DePaul. Dobrin dropped his match to Blong Ly 7-6, 6-4 and Senter bowed to the Blue Demon’s Andy Emerson 6-4, 6-3. Madden expects that his two seniors will bounce back and respond in the tournament.

“They’re both very good players, I think that’s behind them,” he said. “I expect them to play real well. They’ve worked hard this week and they should have no problems.”

As for the rest of his team, Andy Caldwell, Peter Berka, Corey Westphal and Andy Schoberlein, the coach sees no real danger of a letdown.

“We have the kind of team, right on down the line, that will really get fired up for a big event. We know that this conference tournament means a lot to each one of us. We’re going in with confidence and hopefully we’ll come out proving that we’re the best in the conference.”