Sophomore Waylon Chin clinched the Illinois win today against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
April 5, 2009
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The 12th-ranked Illinois men's tennis team remained perfect in conference play, as they edged out the 33rd-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers, 4-3, this afternoon at the Baseline Tennis Center. The Illini grabbed the critical doubles point early on for a 1-0 lead, while sophomore Waylon Chin clinched the match with a win at No. 4 singles. Illinois improved to 16-5 overall and 6-0 in conference matches, while Minnesota fell to 15-5 overall and 4-2 in conference affairs.
"Today was a gritty win for us," Illinois head coach Brad Dancer said. "Overall, we can play better as a whole and individually, but give credit to all our guys today to get another hard fought conference win on the road. We're now through four of our seven matches in two weeks and the guys are preparing themselves for a midweek battle against Kentucky at home, followed by a conference match with Penn State, and then a battle with Ohio State."
In doubles, the Gophers took a win on court one, but the Illini rebounded as the 18th-ranked duo of freshmen Dennis Nevolo and Ruan Roelofse tallied an 8-5 win over Minnesota's Julian Dehn and Tobias Wernet at No. 2 doubles. The Illinois tandem of senior Brian Livingston and sophomore Waylon Chin set the tone of the match in doubles play, as they clinched the pivotal point for the Orange and Blue with an 8-6 victory over Phillip Arndt and Michael Sicora (MINN) in the No. 3 slot.
Minnesota got on the board with a win at No. 5 singles, however the Illini quickly bounced back. Senior Marc Spicijaric, currently ranked No. 79 in the country, upset 60th-ranked Ishay Hadash at No. 1 singles, 6-4, 6-1.
"Marc did a great job of making adjustments today," Dancer added. "He adjusted his forehand a bit at Iowa and now he's continuing to use that as a weapon and he showed great courage out there this afternoon."
No. 42-ranked sophomore Roy Kalmanovich inched the Illini closer to victory with a straight sets win at No. 3 singles over the Gopher's Sebastian Gallego, 6-4, 6-4. The Gophers added to their total with a win at No. 2 singles, as Tobias Wernet (MINN) took a straight sets win over the Illini's Dennis Nevolo.
Sophomore Waylon Chin, seeing action at No. 4 singles, improved to 3-0 in conference duals with a three-set win over the Gophers' Phillip Arndt, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, to clinch the Illinois win. At No. 6 singles, Illinois sophomore Abe Souza gave it all he had against Minnesota's Julian Dehn, but fell short in a tight three-set match 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.
The Fighting Illini return home for a rare midweek battle with No. 13 Kentucky on Wednesday, April 8 at the Atkins Tennis Center. Match time is set for 2 p.m. CT.
#12 Illinois 4, #33 Minnesota 3
April 5, 2009
Baseline Tennis Center
1) #79 Marc Spicijaric (ILL) def. #60 Ishay Hadash (MINN) 6-4, 6-1
2) Tobias Wernet (MINN) def. #39 Dennis Nevolo (ILL) 6-3, 7-5
3) #42 Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) def. Sebastian Gallego (MINN) 6-4, 6-4
4) Waylon Chin (ILL) def. Phillip Arndt (MINN) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
5) Dino Bilankov (MINN) def. Ruan Roelofse (ILL) 6-4, 6-3
6) Julian Dehn (MINN) def. Abe Souza (ILL) 5-7, 6-4, 7-5
Order of Finish 5,1,3,2,4,6
1) Ishay Hadash/Sebastian Gallego (MINN) def. #49 Marek Czerwinski/Marc Spicijaric (ILL) 8-2
2) #18 Dennis Nevolo/Ruan Roelofse (ILL) def. Julian Dehn/Tobias Wernet (MINN) 8-5
3) Waylon Chin/Brian Livingston (ILL) def. Phillip Arndt/Michael Sicora (MINN) 8-6
Order of Finish: 1,2,3