NIU tennis squads to host Eastern Michigan, Toledo

By John Dietz

After four straight losses in 1992, hope is on the horizon for the NIU tennis team when it takes to the courts this weekend.

The competition will remain intense, however, because the first opponent is the University of Wisconsin which ranks No. 5 in the region.

After a 9-0 loss two weeks ago to Northwestern, this promises to be a big test for head coach Chuck Merzbacher’s squad.

“I think playing Northwestern early lets the kids know now what they’re up against. (Because of that loss), we know what can happen, but historically we’ve played well against Wisconsin,” Merzbacher said.

Sunday (9 a.m.) is when the Huskies will play unranked Eastern Michigan University at the Recreation Center.

The Huskies will look to put both of these teams away with the talent of their young players.

Matt Green has been “playing as well as anybody else,” according to Merzbacher. He has won three of his last four matches.

Freshmen Marty Engel seems to be finding his groove after a convincing win last Sunday, but Merzbacher doesn’t expect the world out of Engel just yet.

“When he (Engel) steps on the court he’s always facing that school’s best player,” Merzbacher said.

After four defeats this year, the team has realized that sometimes talent won’t always get you over the hump.

“We thought talent could take over, but it’s no substitute for experience,” Merzbacher said.

‘As for the NIU women’s tennis team … Patty Groth’s squad—coming off last weekend’s 5-2 victory over Purdue—hosts Toledo tonight (6 p.m.) at the Aurora Tennis Club.