DEKALB, IL – The University at Buffalo men's tennis team earned a 6-1 win at Northern Illinois on Friday afternoon, beginning the final regular season weekend. The Bulls improved to 11-9 with the win and 4-2 in league play. With a win on Sunday, UB will clinch the #2 seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament.
The Bulls began the afternoon with a strong showing in doubles. UB's number one team of seniors Vidit Vaghela and Petr Vodak dropped just one game in a 6-1 victory. The Bulls then clinched the doubles point at two as sophomores Villhelm Fridell and Hao Sheng Koay won 7-5.
While the Bulls won five of six singles matches, it was highly contested as five of the six contests went into three sets. Vodak was the lone player to win in straight sets as he came away with a 6-3, 6-4 win at fourth singles. Buffalo then clinched the match with a pair of wins at the bottom third of the lineup. Freshman Nickolas Frisk won at five in three sets with a 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 win, while Vaghela clinched the match at six with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 win.
Junior Ethan Nittolo won at third singles with a 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 victory before Northern Illinois won their lone singles match at two. Koay wrapped up the contest at first singles as he overcame a first-set loss for a 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 win.
"Today was an absolute battle from start to finish," said head coach Lee Nickell. "There was a long time this afternoon where the victory was in question. I can't single out one person today, as this was a complete team effort. We have talked about our response mentally when the chips are down, and our guys came out and did everything the coaching staff asked today."
The Bulls close out the regular season on Sunday afternoon at Ball State. UB will then serve as host of the 2018 MAC Tournament, beginning next Friday.
1. Hao Sheng Koay (UB) def. Kristopher Ortega (NIU), 2-6, 7-5, 7-6
2. Eric Marbach (NIU) def. Villhelm Fridell (UB), 2-6, 6-3, 7-5
3. Ethan Nittolo (UB) def. Louis-Philippe Hamel (NIU), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5
4. Petr Vodak (UB) def. Georg Lundkvist (NIU), 6-3, 6-4
5. Nickolas Frisk (UB) def. Bor Schweiger Muzar (NIU), 7-6, 4-6, 6-3
6. Vidit Vaghela (UB) def. Tom Hjertonsson (NIU), 6-4, 5-7, 6-1
Order of finish
Doubles: 1, 2
Singles: 4, 5, 6, 3, 2, 1