CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (UI Release) - After earning a 3-0 record in singles competition this past week that included wins over two ranked opponents, Jared Hiltzik was named Big Ten Tennis Athlete of the Week. The honor is the freshman's first weekly recognition in his young and promising career at Illinois.
Hiltzik helped spur the Illini to a 3-1 record over the past five days, which included a 2-0 start in Big Ten play. First, the Illini shut out Iowa 7-0 before defeating #20 Northwestern 5-2 to finish out the weekend. Then, the Orange and Blue traveled to South Bend, Ind., on Tuesday, where they split the double-header by recording their second shutout of the week in a 4-0 win over Illinois State but came up short against No. 27 Notre Dame, 4-1.
Hiltzik thus started his week by defeating Iowa's Jonas Dierckx 6-2, 6-2. Then, the freshman emerged triumphant over No. 120 Spencer Wolf of Northwestern, 6-3, 6-4. Next, Hiltzik's match went unfinished against Illinois State before he delivered the lone point for the Illini against Notre Dame, when he defeated No. 97 Greg Andrews 6-4, 6-4. The Wilmette native also picked up a doubles victory this week along with Stephen Hoh, as the duo downed Iowa's Juan Estenssoro and Joey White, 8-3.
Hiltzik started the season ranked No. 114 amongst all Division-I NCAA tennis players. Since, Hiltzik has climbed 76 spots to No. 37, as his team has jumped to No. 13, their highest this season. Hiltzik and the rest of the Fighting Illini return to action March 17 & 18 when they welcome Virginia and USC.