Men’s tennis drags win streak to six

The Huskies have yet to be beaten this season ahead of first road match Friday.


Men’s Tennis moves on to MAC Semi-Finals

DeKALB — Men’s tennis remains unbeaten after completing a sweep against the visiting Cardinal Stritch University Wolves in back-to-back matches on Sunday in DeKalb.

NIU opened play with a 6-1 victory over Cardinal Stritch before finishing the day with a 4-2 win. The first match of the day showed the Huskies bounce back from an early doubles defeat with a complete sweep in singles play. NIU carried that momentum into the second match later that evening as they finished with consecutive wins.

“My goal today as a coach was to create pressure,” head coach Patrick Fisher said in an NIU Athletics press release. “To put guys in positions to play under pressure and that is exactly what we got.”

Match #1: Huskies 6, Wolves 1

Cardinal Stritch earned their lone point of Sunday’s opening match with wins in the first and third spots in doubles play. Junior Oliver Valentinsson and redshirt senior Kristopher Ortega were the only pair of Huskies to win in doubles in the first match. The duo beating Cardinal Stritch’s pairing of junior Mike Delebois and freshman Adrian Gomez, 7-5.

In singles play, Valentinsson made quick work of Delebois, losing just three games in his winning efforts as he won in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, at the three spot. Huskies in the top five of singles play were able to earn their victories in straight sets as well, the lone exception being freshman Jacob Krefting.

Krefting fell behind early against Cardinal Stritch freshman Hugo Munoz Reinoso, losing the first set 6-3. The following two sets showed favor to Krefting as the freshman from Norway earned 6-3, 10-4 wins to secure the come-from-behind victory and complete the sweep in singles.

Match #2: Huskies 4, Wolves 2

The Huskies claimed their first point of the second match without haste as they secured two wins in doubles play. Junior Mikko Malinen and sophomore Mikael Vollbach earned a 6-2 win in the first spot for NIU’s second doubles victory of the day. Freshman Christopher Knutson and sophomore Armin Koschtojan added with their own victory, 6-2, to capture the doubles point for NIU.

The ensuing singles matches saw the Wolves make a larger impact than their opening round as they claimed two victories. Krefting was defeated by Cardinal Strich freshman Sam Kaplan in three sets, 7-6, 6-3, 6-3. At the six spot, Knutson fell to CSU junior Danail Banov in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.

“We were able to expose some weaknesses that we need to improve on,” Fisher said. “None of us agree we are where we want to be, so we all need to keep improving.”

The remainder of NIU’s singles lineup handled matters against their respective opponents from Cardinal Stritch. Ortega ultimately clinched the Huskies’ second match victory with his triumph over Delebois, 6-4, 6-2.

Sunday’s sweep extends the Huskies’ overall record to 6-0 while the Wolves head home with a zero in the season’s win column at 0-2.

NIU will look to continue its winning streak Friday in the first travel event of the season against Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. The matchup will be the first of a four-game stretch playing in the state of Ohio. Play will begin at 1 p.m CT.