Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's tennis team will square off against longtime Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) rival and perennial conference power Northwood on Thursday (April 17) with the league's regular-season championship on the line at the FSU Racquet and Fitness Center.
Match time is set for 2 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids and Bulldog fans are invited out to help cheer the team onto victory.
the Timberwolves, who own a 12-3 overall record to date this year, have presently won each of the league's last 19 regular-season championships since snapping FSU's 13-year conference regular-season title streak in 1995.
FSU ended a long Northwood reign by winning the GLIAC Tournament title two years ago (2012), but has not captured an outright league regular-season championship since 1994. The two schools shared the GLIAC's overall title in 1999 under the previous scoring format with NU taking the regular-season title and FSU winning the conference tourney.
Ferris State, which has currently won eight league matches in a row and eight of its last nine outings overall this season, is coming off a thrilling 5-4 road win over another rival in Grand Valley State in a league tilt played late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning in Grandville. The Bulldogs are 9-12 on the year, but own an 8-2 GLIAC record.
Northwood currently leads the league race by a half-game over the Bulldogs with an 8-1 conference record and must also still face Wayne State, which is tied with the Bulldogs at 8-2 in the conference standings. FSU beat the Warriors 6-3 on April 6, meaning FSU could clinch at least a share of the league's regular-season crown with a win over Northwood.
Thursday's showdown is the Bulldogs' last league regular-season match and FSU's final home contest of the season. FSU will then take part in the 2014 GLIAC Tournament set for April 25-27 at the Midland Community Tennis Center.
Ferris State's last win over Northwood came by a 5-4 count in the 2012 GLIAC Tournament Championship match before NU rebounded to beat FSU 7-2 in regular-season action a year ago followed by a 5-2 win over the Bulldogs in the 2013 GLIAC Tourney final in Midland.
Earlier this season, Tiffin handed Northwood its lone conference setback, which snapped a streak of 157 consecutive conference regular-season victories for the Timberwolves. They had finished GLIAC play unbeaten each year since 1995 prior to this year's loss, but are currently riding a seven-match win streak entering Thursday's tilt.