URBANA, Ill. (UI Release) - The No. 11 Fighting Illini men's tennis team moved its Big Ten record to 4-2 after a dominant 6-1 win over the visiting Michigan State Spartans Friday afternoon at the Atkins Tennis Center. More impressively, the Orange and Blue remain undefeated at home, now with an 8-0 mark.
"Tim and Ross again set the tone for the squad with their enthusiasm," said Illinois head coach Brad Dancer. "In singles, Farris played some physical points with Lied and then did a great job of recovering and maintaining his level throughout." Illinois won its 12th doubles point of the season on Friday, receiving victories on courts one and three. The third ranked team of Ross Guignon and Tim Kopinski rebounded well from their first loss in nine matches, delivering a swift 8-3 win over Drew Lied and John Patrick Mullane. Blake Bazarnik and Alex Jesse clinched the opening point with an 8-4 victory over Doug Zade and Will Davis. Meanwhile Farris Gosea and Jared Hiltzik almost clinched the match themselves as they were up 7-6 over Harry Jadun and Gijs Linders when the match went unfinished.
The Orange and Blue did not waste much time in singles, as the three Illini that clinched, did so in straight sets. No. 23 Gosea improved to 8-1 at No. 1 singles with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Lied.
Bazarnik then delivered a 6-4, 6-4 win over Jadun at No. 5 singles, followed by No. 42 Kopinski, who produced a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Brett Forman, winning his sixth consecutive match in the process. Next, Julian Childers improved to 6-4 in dual matches when he defeated Will Davis 7-6(5), 6-0 at No. 6 singles.
Hiltzik's and Guignon's respective matches went to a super tiebreak third set. No. 9 Hiltzik bested Mullane 10-6 in the shortened third set while Guignon fell victim to Linders by the score of 10-8.
"Our guys played tough early in singles," added Dancer. "Everyone was fighting to grit their way through first sets. We lost some focus in spots in the second sets. We will be ready for Michigan Sunday.
Up next, the Orange and Blue will battle the Michigan Wolverines for the second time this season but the first at home. That match is scheduled for Sunday at Noon CT.
No. 1 -- #3 Guignon / Kopinski (ILL) def. Lied / Mullane (MSU), 8-3
No. 2 -- Gosea / Hiltzik (ILL) vs. Jadun / Linders (MSU), 7-6, unfinished
No. 3 -- Bazarnik / Jesse (ILL) def. Zade / Davis (MSU), 8-4
No. 1 -- #23 Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Drew Lied (MSU), 6-3, 6-0 No. 2 -- #9 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. John Patrick Mullane (MSU), 6-4, 5-7, 1-0(6) No. 3 -- #42 Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Brett Forman (MSU), 7-5, 6-3 No. 4 -- Gijs Linders (MSU) def. Ross Guignon (ILL), 6-7(2), 6-4, 1-0(8)