Men’s tennis earns third MAC victory at Ball State

The Huskies have a 11-8 overall record and a 5-4 MAC record

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Wes Sanderson

Redshirt senior tennis player Kristopher Ortega runs during a match against Binghamton University April 1 in DeKalb.

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Editor

DeKALB — Men’s tennis secured its third victory against Mid-American Conference opponents Sunday after earning a 4-3 victory on the road against Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Doubles: 1-0 Ball State

Ball State gained an upper hand over the Huskies early. Senior Danilo Kovacevic and graduate student Chris Adams claimed a 6-2 victory over NIU’s pair of junior Mikko Malinen and sophomore Mikael Vollbach at No. 1. The Cardinals claimed the doubles point with their second doubles victory at No. 3 over the Huskie duo of sophomore Armin Koschtojan and freshman Christopher Knutson.

Singles: 4-2 NIU

Koschtojan’s 6-3, 6-0 victory over Ball State junior Parrish Simmons at No. 5 singles gave NIU its first point on the day to tie the teams at 1-1. The two conference rivals exchanged singles wins before NIU junior Oliver Valentinsson put the Huskies ahead 3-2 with his defeat of Ball State senior Thibault de Negri at No. 1 in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.

NIU tacked on its fourth point after Vollbach took down Ball State junior Eli Herran at the No. 4 slot. Vollbach bested Herran in three sets 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, to clinch the Huskies’ victory over the Cardinals. Singles play concluded with a final point for Ball State as junior Vince Orlando outplayed NIU’s Malinen at No .3 in three sets, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Final results and looking ahead

The Huskies close out the weekend with an 11-8 overall record. Sunday’s victory also gives NIU a winning record against MAC opponents, now sitting at 5-4.

Ball State’s loss at home puts them at a .500 winning percentage in both season play and conference play. The Cardinals have a season record of 9-9 and are 4-4 in the MAC ahead of their upcoming road trip to New York.

NIU will return home for its final conference match of the season Saturday before the MAC Championships begin April 22. The Huskies will host the 12-8 Western Michigan University Broncos starting at 2 p.m. in Chick Evans Field House.