KALAMAZOO, MI – It has always been said "it's hard to beat the same team three times," but the University at Buffalo men's tennis team had little trouble defeating the Northern Illinois Huskies for the third time this season and the second time in five day with a 4-1 victory in the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. With the win, the Bulls advance to Saturday's Mid-American Conference Championship match.
For the first time this year, the Bulls took the doubles point from Northern Illinois as they picked up wins at one and two. The freshmen duo of Hao Sheng Koay and Filip Grbic won at one to get the day started, 6-3, and then Petr Vodak and Villhelm Fridell won at two, 6-3, to give UB the early 1-0 advantage.
The Huskies got on the board with a victory at second singles, but UB quickly regained the lead as Koay came away with a straight sets win at one, 6-3, 6-2. The other four matches all went into three sets. Fridell won his opening set at four, 6-2, but then dropped the second set, 6-2, before he shutout his opponent in the third, 6-0. That win put UB up 3-1 and close to clinching.
Sophomore Ethan Nittolo lost his opening set at six, but he came back to win the second set 6-3 and then he took the third set 6-1, which sent the Bulls into the MAC Championship match. The Bulls did win first set at both three and five, but both of those matches were in the third set when the contest was stopped.
The top-seeded Bulls will now face either #2 Western Michigan or #3 Ball State in tomorrow's championship with the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament at stake. The match will begin at 1:00pm from Kalamazoo, MI.
- Hao Sheng Koay/Filip Grbic (UB) def. Eric Marbach/Georg Lundkvist (NIU), 6-3
- Petr Vodak/Villhelm Fridell (UB) vs. Louis Hamel/Tom Hjertonsson (NIU), 6-3
- Tony Miller/Ethan Nittolo (UB) vs. Carlos Manzanas/Bor Schweiger Muzar (NIU), 3-5, unfinished
Order of Finish: 1,2
- Hao Sheng Koay (UB) def. Georg Lundkvist (NIU), 6-3, 6-2
- Bor Schweiger Muzar (NIU) def. Vidit Vaghela (UB), 6-2, 6-1
- Filip Grbic (UB) vs. Eric Marbach (NIU), 6-3, 2-6, 2-5, unfinished
- Villhelm Fridell (UB) def. Tom Hjertonsson (NIU), 6-2, 2-6, 6-0
- Petr Vodak (UB) vs. Louis Hamel (NIU), 6-1, 4-6, 3-0, unfinished
- Ethan Nittolo (UB) def. Carlos Manzanas (NIU), 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Order of Finish: 2,1,4,6