Junior Abe Souza won his ninth straight match in the 4-3 loss to Kentucky.
Feb. 13, 2010
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Junior Abe Souza won his ninth straight match and teammates Marek Czerwinski and Connor Roth added two more, but it wasn't enough as the Illini (3-4) fell to Kentucky (7-2), 4-3 Saturday afternoon in the consolation round of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team Indoor Championships.
"We have a lot of respect for the Kentucky players," head coach Brad Dancer said. They're a very good team. It's a heartbreaking loss. There's some things we could have done differently in singles. Dennis, Stephen and Johnny lost very close matches. Kentucky just played better down the stretch and that was critical. But tomorrow, we have a great opportunity with Fresno State, so we'll hopefully make the most of the situation."
Czerwinski and Hoh evened the score in doubles play with an 8-4 victory over Alberto Gonzalez and Alex Lambropoulos, older brother of Illini women's tennis player, Marisa Lambropoulos, but sophomore Dennis Nevolo and junior Johnny Hamui came up short against No. 9 Eric Quigley and Brad Cox, 8-6 to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. Roth tied things up with a defeat of Graham Dyce, 6-1, 6-3, and Czerwinski added to it, topping Cox, 6-3, 7-5 to give Illinois a 2-1 advantage. The Wildcats evened the score at the No. 4 position, before Souza put the Illini back ahead after rallying past Gonzalez, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 to maintain his nine-match winning streak. Kentucky was able to pull through in the Nos. 1 and 2 positions, however, as No. 8 Quigley topped No. 43 Nevolo, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5), and No. 39 Alex Musialek defeated Hamui, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
The Illini conclude action tomorrow at 8 a.m. CT against 16th-seeded Fresno State. Live scoring is available for all matches HERE.
#10 Kentucky 4, #13 Illinois 3
1. #8 Eric Quigley (UK) def. #43 Dennis Nevolo (ILL) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5)
2. #39 Alex Musialek (UK) def. Johnny Hamui (ILL) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
3. Marek Czerwinski (ILL) def. Brad Cox (UK) 6-3, 7-5
4. Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Stephen Hoh (ILL) 6-4, 7-5
5. Abe Souza (ILL) def. Alberto Gonzalez (UK) 1-6, 6-3, 6-1
6. Connor Roth (ILL) def. Graham Dyce (UK) 6-1, 6-3
1. #9 Eric Quigley/Brad Cox (UK) def. Dennis Nevolo/Johnny Hamui (ILL) 8-6
2. Marek Czerwinski/Stephen Hoh (ILL) def. Alex Lambropoulos/Alberto Gonzalez (UK) 8-4
3. Anthony Rossi/Alex Musialek (UK) def. Abe Souza/Connor Roth (ILL) 8-6
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,3,4,5,1,2)