The Stetson men's tennis team defeated Northern Illinois by
a score of 5-2 on Monday afternoon at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center to stay
undefeated on the season.
"The team played a very good match today against a tenacious
opponent," Director of Tennis Pierre Pilote said. "The quick turnaround from
the long journey back from our spring break matches didn't have an effect on us.
Instead, the team was extremely focused from the outset."
After the Hatters (7-0) and the Huskies (9-5) split the
first four singles matches, Stetson held a 3-2 advantage and was just one match
away from victory. Freshmen Egor Panyushkin and Cahit Kapukiran both won their
first sets, but both lost the second, forcing a third set in each.
After a hard-fought third set that had to go to a
tie-breaker, Kapukiran came away with the victory, defeating Dor Amir 6-4, 1-6,
7-6 (4) to secure the victory for Stetson. Panyushkin went on to defeat Jovan
Zelkovic just moments later by a score of 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
Singles play began with senior Didrik Berg falling to Axel
Lagerlof by a score of 6-0, 6-0. Sophomore Chester Espie then defeated Simon
Formont 6-2, 6-2, and freshman Simon Julin defeated Max Phillips 6-0, 6-1 to
give the Hatters a 3-1 advantage. Freshman Laurynas Antropikas was defeated by
Frederick Cadieux to keep the Huskies alive in the match before Kapukrian
Stetson opened the match by winning the doubles point for
the second straight match. Berg and Julin cruised to an 8-0 victory over Formont
and Maksym Lagutin. Antropikas and junior Hans Adrian Riseng defeated Amir and Lagerlof
by a score of 8-3 to secure the 1-0 lead for the Hatters.
The Hatters are back in action Tuesday, March 12, taking on
Cleveland State at 2:00 p.m. The match is the first of a doubleheader at the
Mandy Stoll Tennis Center, with the Stetson women set to play tentatively at 6:00
"We face a very good team tomorrow in Cleveland State,"
Pilote said. "(They are) yet another challenge for our young squad."
Match Notes: This marks
the second 7-0 start in the last three seasons ... Chester Espie has won 19
straight singles matches (20 is the school record) ... The last point of
Panyushkin's match was given because of a code violation on NIU's coach.