Broncos Host Huskies in MAC Clash
The Western Michigan men’s tennis team faces a short turnaround this week as they host their second MAC opponent of the season, when the Northern Illinois Huskies come to town for an important mid-season clash. This will be the 40th meeting between these two teams, with Western Michigan holding a 29-10 advantage in the all-time series. The Huskies were the only MAC team to even take a point from the Broncos in 2011, as WMU defeated NIU 6-1.
Today’s match against the Huskies marks the second match in the Broncos’ defense of their 2011 MAC title. Last season, the Broncos went a perfect 5-0 through conference play en route to their 22nd conference championship, dropping just a single point to a MAC opponent in that span. The Broncos picked up their first conference win of the season earlier this week, defeating Chicago State 7-0.
20-WIN PLATEAU WITHIN REACH
Last year, only three Broncos eclipsed the 20 wins plateau in singles play; this year, two players have already surpassed 20 wins, and there are potentially four more players that could turn the trick as well. Nadin Indre leads the Broncos with 22 wins, while Aaron Wong isj ust one match behind with 21 wins. Ross VanderPloeg (18) could soon break the mark, as could Zeyad Montasser (16), Pablo Olivarez (16), and even Simon Blomberg (14).
VANDERPLOEG IN THE LONE STAR STATE
Junior Ross VanderPloeg was the top performer for the Broncos at the H.E.B. Invite Tournament, hosted by Texas A&M - Corpus Christi. VanderPloeg teamed with Nadin Indre in the No. 1 doubles match against #73 DePaul, downing the pair of George Chanturia and Filip Dzanko 8-2 as the Broncos took the doubles point against the Blue Demons. VanderPloeg would go on to win the No. 4 singles match against DePaul, beating Mathias Hambach 6-3, 6-2.
VanderPloeg has been strong over the course of the dual match season, and in fact leads the Broncos with a 11-4 record in dual match play. Most of those wins have come from the No. 5 position, where VanderPloeg boasts a 6-2 record; he is, however, a combined 5-2 in the Nos. 3 and 4 positions. VanderPloeg has also found some synergy with Nadin Indre in doubles play; the duo is a team-best 16-7 in doubles.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
The Broncos have been tough to beat in Kalamazoo in the 2012 season; in fact, they’ve been darn near impossible to beat there over the past two seasons. The Broncos are 10-0 in Kalamazoo in 2012, with all of those matches played at West Hills Athletic Club; the Broncos went 8-2 at home last season as well. However, the Broncos’ only loss to a conference opponent at home came to Ball State in the semifinals of the 2011 MAC Tournament, the only home match the Broncos played outdoors that season.