URBANA, Ill. -- No. 20 Northwestern was edged for the doubles point and came up short in the match, dropping its Big Ten opener at No. 17 Illinois Saturday evening.
Site: Urbana, Ill. (Atkins Tennis Center)
Score: #17 Illinois 5, #20 Northwestern 2
Records: NU (13-4, 0-1 Big Ten), Illinois (6-3, 2-0 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Saturday, March 9 - vs. Nebraska (Combe Tennis Center), Noon
The Wildcats claimed the first double match to finish at No. 3 as the pairing of Spencer Wolf and Fedor Baev defeated Stephen Hoh and Jared Hiltzik, 8-6. Illinois was able to even things up with an 8-6 victory of its own at No. 1, leaving things up to the No. 2 match.
Mihir Kumar and Alex Pasareanu took the team of Alex Jesse and Farris Gosea to a tiebreaker, but the Illini duo was able to pull it out (7-3) for the 9-8 win to take the doubles point.
Illinois was able to clinch the match victory with singles wins at Nos. 5, 1 and 3. Raleigh Smith got Northwestern on the board at No. 2 as he rolled to a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Stephen Hoh.
NU also earned a point at No. 6 where Chris Jackman won his match in a third-set tiebreaker, rallying 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-4).
Northwestern returns to action at noon Saturday, March 9 as it opens a busy weekend by taking on Nebraska at Combe Tennis Center.
1. Tim Kopinski / Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Sidarth Balaji / Raleigh Smith (NU) 8-6
2. Alex Jesse / Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Mihir Kumar / Alex Pasareanu (NU) 9-8 (7-3)
3. Spencer Wolf / Fedor Baev (NW) def. Stephen Hoh / Jared Hiltzik (ILL) 8-6
Order of Finish: 3,1,2*
1. #37 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. #120 Spencer Wolf (NU) 6-3, 6-4
2. Raleigh Smith (NU) def. Stephen Hoh (ILL) 6-2, 6-4
3. #113 Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Sidarth Balaji (NU) 6-3, 6-3
4. #118 Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Mihir Kumar (NU) 6-2, 6-2
5. Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Alex Pasareanu (NU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Chris Jackman (NU) def. Brian Page (ILL) 4-6, 6-3, 10-4
Order of Finish: 5,1,3*,4,6