Junior Abe Souza tallied his seventh straight victory Friday night in the team's 5-2 win over Duke.
Feb. 5, 2010
DURHAM, N.C. - The No. 12 Illini men's tennis team (3-1) put together another solid performance Friday night, defeating No. 21 Duke (2-2), 5-2 in its first road match of the season. The Illini dominated at Nos. 3-6 singles, highlighted by junior Abe Souza's seventh consecutive victory.
"We had a great team effort tonight," head coach Brad Dancer said. "We had good focus and precision in our preparation beforehand. Our energy in doubles was excellent, led by our veterans, Marek, Abe and Connor. It was really a veteran night altogether. They've been around for a number of years now and showed tremendous leadership. Dennis battled back in the second set and I think that gave us a boost in confidence and when Stephen won the second set, I think that took some pressure off of Connor and allowed him more freedom in his match. Overall, we played hard and purposeful, but we can always get better. We just need to keep believing in ourselves and in what we're trying to do."
After falling at No. 1 doubles, senior Marek Czerwinski and freshman Stephen Hoh evened the score with an 8-3 win over Dylan Arnould and Torsten Wietoska, before Souza and junior Connor Roth secured the doubles point with their third straight victory of the season, 8-5 over Alain Michel and Jared Pinsky.
Duke quickly responded in singles play with a win at the No. 2 spot, but the Illini answered back with victories by Czerwinski and Souza to take the lead for good at 3-1. The Blue Devils tallied one more win at No. 1 singles, but Roth was able to hold off Luke Marchese, 7-5, 7-5 to clinch the victory, and Hoh rallied back to defeat No. 77 Wietoska, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-5 to close out the night for Illinois.
The Illini will be back in action Sunday at No. 5 Tennessee, which they also will be facing in the round of 16 at the ITA National Indoor Championships next Friday, Feb. 12 in Charlottesville, Va. Sunday's match begins at 11 a.m. CT and live stats will be available HERE.
#12 Illinois 5, #21 Duke 2
1. #17 Henrique Cunha (DUKE) def. #43 Dennis Nevolo (ILL), 6-4, 7-6 (2)
2. Reid Carleton (DUKE) def. Johnny Hamui (ILL), 6-4, 6-1
3. Marek Czerwinski (ILL) def. #62 Dylan Arnould (DUKE), 7-6 (8-6), 6-3
4. Stephen Hoh (ILL) def. #77 Torsten Wietoska (DUKE), 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-5
5. Abe Souza (ILL) def. Alain Michel (DUKE), 6-3, 6-4
6. Connor Roth (ILL) def. Luke Marchese (DUKE), 7-5, 7-5
1. #8 Reid Carleton/Henrique Cunha (DUKE) def. Johnny Hamui/Dennis Nevolo (ILL), 8-2
2. Marek Czerwinski/Stephen Hoh (ILL) def. Dylan Arnould/Torsten Wietoska (DUKE), 8-3
3. Connor Roth/Abe Souza (ILL) def. Alain Michel/Jared Pinsky (DUKE), 8-5
Order of Finish: Doubles (1,2,3) Singles (2,5,3,1,6,4)