Illinois Goes 11-1 on Day Two of Midwest Regional
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Fighting Illini men's tennis team went a perfect 4-0 in doubles play and 7-1 in singles action Friday on day two of the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional, hosted by Michigan State. Four Orange and Blue tandems advanced to round two of the doubles competition, while six Illini advanced to the second round of the main singles draw.
"I think our guys competed well throughout the day," head coach Brad Dancer said. "We look forward to putting up a good fight again and seeing how we measure up throughout the rest of the weekend. Big challenges await tomorrow."
In doubles play, the undefeated duo of freshman Brian Page and senior Stephen Hoh teamed up for an 8-4 win over Western Michigan's Andrew Cahn and Aaron Wong, marking the team-leading sixth victory of the season for the pair. Freshman tandem Jared Hiltzik and Alex Jesse picked up an 8-4 win as well, taking down Michael Treis and Marc Shideler (WMU).
Meanwhile, freshman Julian Childers and sophomore Ross Guignon edged UIC's Christopher Cole and Isaac Lloveras-Bernat in a 9-8(4) battle, and sophomores Tim Kopinski and Farris Gosea wrapped up the doubles round with an 8-4 win over Michigan State's Will Davis and Doug Zade.
The Orange and Blue continued the winning trend in singles action, going 6-1 in the main draw after Childers earned his entry with a win in the qualifying round earlier in the day. Page took down Michael Zhu of Michigan, 7-6(5), 6-4, while 13th-seeded Hiltzik captured a swift 6-3, 6-1 win over Andrew Cahn (WMU).
Hoh and Guignon also downed their opponents in straight sets, eliminating a pair of Fighting Irish. Hoh, the 11th seed, cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 decision over Mike Moore, while Guignon dropped Billy Pecor, 7-5, 6-2. Kopinski won in three sets, knocking off Illinois State's Erik Brunskog, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
Gosea showed his resiliency in a back-and-forth thriller with Cleveland State's Jury VanderVloet, eventually taking the match, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6).
"Farris' composure was one of the highlights today," Dancer said. "He had a number of match points to win his contest and then ended up having to fight off a couple of match points. I think that's all a character-building experience when that happens. He stayed tough out there, and that's really a credit to the work he's been putting in."
The Orange and Blue will return to action tomorrow at 8 a.m. CT.
Illini Results Main Doubles Draw
Brian Page/Stephen Hoh (ILL) def. Andrew Cahn/Aaron Wong (WMU) 8-4
Jared Hiltzik/Alex Jesse (ILL) def. Michael Treis/Marc Shideler (WMU) 8-4
Julian Childers/Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Christopher Cole/Isaac Lloveras-Bernat (UIC) 9-8(4)
Farris Gosea/Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Will Davis/Doug Zade (MSU) 8-4
Main Singles Draw
Brian Page (ILL) def. Michael Zhu (MICH) 7-6(5), 6-4
Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Erik Brunskog (ISU) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. Andrew Cahn (WMU) 6-3, 6-1
Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Jury VanderVloet (CSU) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6)
Stephen Hoh (ILL) def. Mike Moore (ND) 6-3, 6-2
Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Billy Pecor (ND) 7-5, 6-2
Dor Amir (NIU) def. Julian Childers (ILL) 7-6, 6-4
Qualifying: Julian Childers (ILL) def. Aaron Wong (WMU) 6-4, 6-4