#6 Illinois Blanks Pepperdine 5-0 on College MatchDay
March 14, 2014
URBANA, Ill. - In front of a standing room only crowd at the Atkins Tennis Center and all those watching on ESPN3, the No. 6 Illinois men's tennis team shutout Pepperdine 5-0 on College MatchDay night. The second shutout of the Waves this season combined with a 4-1 win over South Florida in the morning, moved the Illini's overall record to 11-4.
"It was an honor having ESPN choose Illinois to host College MatchDay. It just goes to show you that they recognize what an awesome venue this is," said Associate Head Coach Marcos Asse. "I certainly think our players had the advantage because we have an atmosphere like this on a regular basis. It's one of the best venues in college tennis."
College Match Day - Pepperdine
With over 750 fans energizing the Orange and Blue, the Illini displayed a dominant singles performance against Pepperdine on Friday evening. In fact, on courts 2-6, no Illinois player surrendered more than three games on their way to taking the first set.
No. 42 Tim Kopinski made quick work of Francis Alcantara in No. 2 singles, winning 6-3, 6-2. Ross Guignon delivered point number two next with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Stefan Menichella in No. 4 singles.
Then, in exciting fashion, the third, fourth and fifth point were all clinched in sequence. Blake Bazarnik started the chain of events on court three with a 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 115 David Sofaer. Alex Jesse quickly followed with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Pedro Leme. At the same time, Julian Childers was celebrating his 6-2, 6-0 victory on court six over Tom Hill.
Farris Gosea completed the Illini first set sweep, taking it 7-5 over No. 27 Alex Sarkissian. Gosea was down 4-2 before rallying back to claim set one. The junior was then up 3-1 in the second set when the match was called.
"It was a fantastic atmosphere," said Kopinski. "It always is fantastic, but today was little bit more special and louder and just a lot of fun."
The Illini got acquainted with the new format in the morning when they defeated USF 4-1. Illinois received straight set victories from its top three singles positions and a three-set clincher from Ross Guignon on court four.
Blake Bazarnik was the first to dispatch his opponent, defeating Vadym Kalyuzhnny 6-1, 6-2 to put the Illini on the board. No. 42 Tim Kopinski was in a tight first set, with the score 3-3 at one point. The junior then won 12 of the next 16 games to take the match over Oliver Pramming, 7-5, 6-2.
No. 17 Farris Gosea finished seconds after Kopinski to push the Illinois lead to 3-0. After taking the first set 6-3, Gosea blanked No. 65 Roberto Cid in the second set, 6-0.
Despite the overall team score favoring the Orange and Blue, South Florida tried to rally back on the remaining courts. USF's Federico Sabogal got the Bulls on the board with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Julian Childers on court 6.
However, Ross Guignon, who has possessed a knack of clinching for the Orange and Blue this season, did just that this morning. After dropping the second set 2-6, Guignon switched gears and reversed the second set score in his favor, securing victory at 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
Alex Jesse did well on court five to not surrender a second point to Ignacio Gonzalez and the Bulls. Jesse fought off a couple match points as the match went unfinished at 6-3, 3-6, 2-5.
Up next, the Illini will immediately fly out to Indian Wells, Calif. to take on the 12th ranked Baylor Bears on Sunday, March 16, at 11 a.m. CT.
Illini Results - Pepperdine
No. 2 -- #42 Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Francis Alcantara (PEP), 6-3, 6-2
No. 3 -- Blake Bazarnik (ILL) def. #115 David Sofaer (PEP), 6-2, 6-2
No. 4 - Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Stefan Menichella (PEP), 6-1, 7-5
No. 5 - Alex Jesse (ILL) def. Pedro Leme (PEP), 6-3, 6-4
No. 6 -- Julian Childers (ILL) def. Tom Hill (PEP), 6-2, 6-0
Illini Results - USF
No. 2 -- #42 Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Oliver Pramming (USF), 7-5, 6-2
No. 3 -- Blake Bazarnik (ILL) def. Vadym Kalyuzhnny (USF), 6-1, 6-2
No. 4 - Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Sasha Gozun (USF), 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
No. 5 - Alex Jesse (ILL) def. (USF), 6-3, 3-6, 2-5, unfinished
No. 6 -- Federico Sabogal (USF) def. Julian Childers (ILL), 6-2, 6-3