Lincoln too much for Norse

NKU’s men’s tennis team has already established this season as one of the most successful in the history of the university.

The Norse, for the first time in school history, finished the regular season conference schedule undefeated and have the number one seed in next week’s Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament.

The Norse have dedicated this historic season, to former teammate, Tom Fontova. Fontova passed away after committing suicide in October of last year.

“The dedication of this season for Tom, has been a big part in our success this year,” said head coach Geoff Crawford. “We really feel that Tom is watching every match.”

The success of this season has been a bit of a surprise to Crawford.

“We knew that we had the potential,” said Crawford, “we have just been able to play well in the important matches and that has led to some success.”

Last week the Norse knocked off three straight undefeated teams in conference play.

Those three wins along with the good out of conference record, have established the Norse as the team to beat in next week’s GLVC conference tournament.

Monday, the Norse met up in a non-conference match with Lincoln Memorial University. Lincoln proved to be too much for the Norse, as they defeated NKU, 6-3.

In doubles, NKU dropped two of their three matches, with the lone victory, coming from the pair of Nick Herzog and Ted Walkup as they won 9-7. However Walkup suffered an injury, forcing him to sit out his match in the singles round.

In singles NKU’s top player, and last year’s conference player of the year, Amine Benjoullen, played a tough three set match before falling to Lincoln’s Peter Kurhajas, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

However, the Norse were able to get victories from Jon Peters, and Billy Hopkins.

Peters, the lone senior on this year’s club, defeated Francois Nandu, 7-5, 2-6, 10-6. Hopkins, last year’s conference freshman of the year, defeated Andy Berggren, 6-4, 6-3.

The Norse dropped their other three singles matches, and eventually fell to just their fourth defeat of the season.

“This was an unexpected outcome,” said Crawford, “but they’re a good team and this was a good warm-up for the conference tournament.”

The Norse will travel to take on Morehead State University, on Tuesday, before starting the conference tournament, in Indianapolis this weekend.

With a good showing in Indianapolis this weekend, the Norse should go on to advance to the NCAA tournament for the second straight season.

“We just need to continue to work hard,” said Crawford, “the matches this week should keep us sharp and hopefully we continue our success from there.”