The SIU men’s tennis team struggled in meets against Marquette University and Northern Illinois University, losing the matches 6-1 and 7-0 respectively.
The Salukis played Friday in Milwaukee against Marquette and Saturday in Rockford against NIU.
With the SIU softball season underway, the third court of Sports Blast in Carbondale was cleared for practice Feb. 29.
Coach Dann Nelson said the extra space would allow for more singles play during practice, which he said he expects to improve the team’s singles play.
But against MU at the Eck Tennis Pavilion, three-seed junior Brandon Florez gained the lone win after going into a tiebreak in the first set.
Florez fought his way back into another tiebreak in the second set and eventually won 6-7, 7-6, 1-0 (7). Florez said while he earned a win, his play could still improve.
Singles first-seed junior Badr Cherradi lost 6-4, 6-3, and two-seed Stanislas Rodier won the first set of his match but lost the next two sets, losing the third set in a tiebreak 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 1-0 (10-6). Fourth seed freshman Martijn Admiraal and sixth seed junior Orhan Spahic both lost 6-4, 6-4, and fifth seed junior Rafael Cuadrillero lost 6-2, 6-2.
In doubles play, the Salukis fared no better as they dropped two of three matches.
The duo of Rodier and Cheradi notched the lone win and extended their winning streak to three matches, playing as the No. 2 doubles seed.
No. 1 seed partners Florez and Admiraal lost 8-3, and third seed Spahic and Szymon Opieczonek lost 8-6.
The Salukis continued to struggle Saturday as they were swept 7-0 overall at the Boylan Tennis Center in Rockford. Florez continued his strong play, this time paired with partner Admiraal, winning at No. 2 doubles seed 8-4.
However, the Salukis lost the remaining two doubles matches. Cherradi and Rodier lost 8-6 as the one seed. Opieczonek and Spahic lost 8-4 as the third-seeded doubles.
In singles play, the Salukis did not manage to win against the Huskies.
Florez put up the greatest resistance as he dropped his match in a second set tiebreak 7-5, 7-6 (10-5). The remaining members of the team failed to force a fifth game, and Nelson said the team was overmatched at times during the meet.
One seed Cherradi lost 6-4, 6-3, and two seed Rodier lost 6-2, 6-1. At fourth singles, Admiraal lost 6-3, 6-3, and fifth and sixth seeds Spahic and Cuadrillero lost 6-4, 6-3, and 6-4, 6-1, respectively.
Nelson said the team’s lack of success during the weekend was not because of poor effort.
“We finally played well as an entire team against Marquette yesterday, and I really thought if we brought the same intensity today against Northern that we would have a good chance to win,” Nelson said.