Junior Abe Souza defeated No. 16 Jarmere Jenkins, 4-6, 6-3, 10-8.
Jan. 22, 2010
URBANA, Ill. - The No. 15 Illini men's tennis team (0-1) fought to the end, but second-ranked Virginia (2-0) spoiled Illinois' home opener with a 6-1 victory Friday night at Atkins Tennis Center. Junior Abe Souza prevented the shutout with a 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 defeat of No. 16 Jarmere Jenkins.
"I thought we played hard for the most part," head coach Brad Dancer said. "But they showed why they're a really good team. They don't have a lot of weak spots. We're going to have to get sharper and tougher."
The Cavaliers jumped on top early, as No. 17 Drew Courtney and Lee Singer defeated junior Connor Roth and Souza, 8-1, before sealing the doubles point shortly after, though the Illini duo of junior Johnny Hamui and sophomore Dennis Nevolo were able to avoid the sweep with an 8-5 victory over Sanam Singh and Michael Shabaz.
Virginia carried its momentum into singles play, claiming the first four matches in straight sets, before Souza put Illinois on the scoreboard.
"Abe was able to slow the match down and take control of the tempo," Dancer said. "His win really speaks volumes of his effort."
The Illini will be back in action Jan. 29-30 to host the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Atkins Tennis Center. The event gets underway Friday and will feature second-seeded and No. 22 Boise State taking on No. 26 Washington at 2 p.m., before top-seeded Illinois battles fourth-seeded and No. 27 Virginia Tech at 6 p.m.
#2 Virginia 6, #15 Illinois 1
1. #3 Michael Shabaz (UVa) def. #43 Dennis Nevolo (ILL) 6-4, 6-3
2. #12 Sanam Singh (UVa) def. Johnny Hamui (ILL) 6-2, 6-2
3. #31 Drew Courtney (UVa) def. Marek Czerwinski (ILL) 6-4, 6-2
4. Abe Souza (ILL) def. #16 Jarmere Jenkins (UVa) 4-6, 6-3, 10-8
5. #28 Lee Singer (UVa) def. Stephen Hoh (ILL) 6-3, 7-6 (9-7)
6. #58 Houston Barrick (UVa) def. Connor Roth (ILL) 6-4, 6-3
1. Johnny Hamui/Dennis Nevolo (ILL) def. Sanam Singh/Michael Shabaz (UVa) 8-5
2. Jarmere Jenkins/Houston Barrick (UVa) def. Marek Czerwinski/Stephen Hoh (ILL) 8-6
3. #17 Drew Courtney/Lee Singer (UVa) def. Abe Souza/Connor Roth (ILL) 8-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,3,6,2,4,5)