Seniors Dennis Nevolo and Roy Kalmanovich took down the 11th-ranked doubles team in the nation on Thursday.
April 12, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 23rd-ranked Fighting Illini men's tennis team (12-5) stumbled in a 6-1 loss to No. 7 Kentucky (23-4) Thursday afternoon at Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. Freshman Farris Gosea secured the lone point for the Illini, while seniors Dennis Nevolo and Roy Kalmanovich helped the Orange and Blue avoid the doubles sweep with a convincing win over a nationally ranked duo.
"Kentucky is a good team," Illini head coach Brad Dancer said. "I give them a lot of credit. They won the SEC crown this year, and that's a testament to the outstanding team that they put together. I thought we had some blown opportunities in doubles, and that put us in an early hole. In singles, we lost a little bit of our composure at the top spots. But Dennis and Roy are more experienced than that, and I think they'll rebound tomorrow and play stronger matches."
No. 25 pairing Kalmanovich and Nevolo got the Illini off to a promising start with an 8-1 victory over No. 11 tandem Eric Quigley and Panav Jha at the top spot, marking their fifth win over a ranked team this season. Illinois could not maintain the early momentum, however, dropping the following two doubles matches to put the Wildcats up, 1-0.
In singles action, the Illini dropped the first two completed contests, putting them one match away from a dual loss. Gosea managed to put Illinois on the board with a 6-3, 7-6(5) win over Grant Roberts on Court 6, but it was not enough for the Orange and Blue, as Kentucky won the following three matches.
"We're capable of doing more," Dancer said. "And I think anytime you recognize that as a coach, it comes back on us. We just need to see what we can do to get people playing at a higher level."
The Illini will return to action tomorrow to take on No. 2 Ohio State at 5 p.m. CT in Columbus, Ohio.
1. No. 3 Eric Quigley (UK) def. No. 5 Dennis Nevolo (ILL) 6-3, 6-2
2. No. 15 Alex Musialek (UK) def. No. 38 Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) 1-6, 7-6 (3), 10-6
3. No. 22 Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Bruno Abdelnour (ILL) 7-5, 6-2
4. No. 67 Tom Jomby (UK) def. Tim Kopinski (ILL) 6-2, 7-6 (2)
5. No. 104 Alejandro Gomez (UK) def. Stephen Hoh (ILL) 6-3, 6-2
6. Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Grant Roberts (UK) 6-3, 7-6 (5)
1. No. 25 Dennis Nevolo/Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) def. No. 11 Eric Quigley/Panav Jha (UK) 8-1
2. No. 55 Alex Musialek/Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Stephen Hoh/Farris Gosea (ILL) 8-4
3. Alejandro Gomez/Tom Jomby (UK) def. Tim Kopinski/Bruno Abdelnour (ILL) 8-4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,5,6,3,4,2)