Illinois Advances with 4-1 Win Over Texas A&M
Feb. 19, 2011
SEATTLE - With another 1-0 deficit to overcome after doubles, the eighth-seeded Illinois men's tennis team (6-2) proved its resiliency once again in singles and defeated No. 9-seed Texas A&M (6-2), 4-1, late Friday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships hosted by the University of Washington in Seattle. The Illini will face three-time defending champion and No. 1 seed Virginia tonight, which defeated host Washington, 4-1.
Nearly every match on the day went at least three hours, which significantly delayed the start time of several of the later matches. As a result, the match tonight between Illinois and Virginia will not begin until 9 p.m. PT/11 p.m. CT. Live scoring will be available HERE. A complete recap and results will be available on fightingillini.com Sunday morning.
The Illini nearly won the doubles battle, as the decision came down to the No. 1 spot where seniors Abe Souza and Johnny Hamui were up 7-6 against No. 1 Austin Krajicek and Jeff Dadamo. The top-ranked duo rallied back, however, securing the next two games to clinch the doubles point for the Aggies.
In singles, sophomores KU Singh and Stephen Hoh collected straight sets victories to give Illinois a 2-1 advantage. No. 65 Souza and sophomore Bruno Abdelnour each battled back in their respective matches after dropping the first set, with Abdelnour recording the deciding point to give the Illini the 4-1 win.
"The match was the true definition of a team effort," head coach Brad Dancer said. "Abe and Johnny did a fantastic job in doubles and even though they didn't win, they helped set the tone for leadership on the night. It was a big win for Bruno getting the clinching match and we're so proud of his tough battle and being able to get that done. The leadership of the older guys, specifically Abe, Dennis (Nevolo) and Johnny, was outstanding in terms of their composure and relentless effort. We're looking forward to the next challenges."
Illinois faced Virginia in its first dual match of the season on Jan. 21, with the Cavaliers claiming a 7-0 win in Charlottesville.