Illinois Downs Purdue 5-2 In Regular Season Finale
April 21, 2013
West Lafayette, Ind. – The Fighting Illini men's tennis team ended the regular season on a three-match winning streak after storming into West Lafayette and earning a 5-2 win over Purdue. As a result, Illinois locks up the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten Tournament with a 8-3 conference record, 15-9 overall.
"We had some strong performances today highlighted by Farris Gosea and Jared Hiltzik," said Illinois head coach Brad Dancer. "They maintained their focus throughout. Against Indiana and Purdue we lost focus in doubles and today it bit us."
The Orange and Blue found themselves down early after dropping the doubles point. However, the pairing of #80 Alex Jesse and Jared Hiltzik continue to be dominant in conference competition after beating Tatarczyk/Krocsko 8-4 in the No. 1 position. Thus, the duo are now 7-0 in Big Ten doubles play and have won nine straight overall.
Farris Gosea was the first to finish in singles competition, quickly closing out a 6-1, 6-2 win over Krocsko in the No. 5 position. The sophomore moved to 8-2 in Big Ten singles play.
#31 Jared Hiltzik won his fifth straight singles match with a 6-2, 6-4 victory vs. Kovacs at No. 1. Hiltzik is now 9-2 in Big Ten and 11-3 in the No. 1 slot.
Next up was the red-hot freshman Alex Jesse who earned a 6-2, 6-1 win vs. Hawkins at No. 6. Ever since Jesse was inserted into the singles lineup on April 12 and earned a hard fought 5-7, 7-6(2), 1-0(6) victory over Hunter Callahan of Ohio State he has not lost, thus winning his fourth straight today.
Stephen Hoh, who entered fresh off a Senior Day victory on Friday, capped of an undefeated weekend with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win over Poziomski in the No. 4 position.
Following right behind him was fellow senior Bruno Abdelnour who took the first set 7-6 but dropped the second one 7-5. Then the Syria native found himself down 3-1 in the third set but rallied back to take it 7-5.
Rounding out the score to the final of 5-2 was Purdue's Tatarczyk who upended Kopinski 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 in the No. 2 spot.
The Orange and Blue return to action at the 2013 Big Ten Tournament hosted by Ohio State from April 25-28. The fourth-seeded Illini received a first-round bye and will face the winner of #5 Northwestern and #12 Iowa on Friday, April 26, at 10 a.m. CT.
"Heading into Big Ten's it's going to be important for us to get guys' bodies in position and make sure each guy is running his offensive and defensive patterns clearly with conviction," stated Dancer. "On Friday, we will be ready to go."
No. 1 -- #31 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. Mark Kovacs (PUR) - 6-2, 6-4
No. 2 -- Szymon Tatarczyk (PUR) def. Tim Kopinski (ILL) - 7-6, 4-6,7-6
No. 3 -- Bruno Abdelnour (ILL) def. Deigo Acosta (PUR) - 7-6, 5-7, 7-5
No. 4 -- Stephen Hoh (ILL) def. Pawel Poziomski (PUR) - 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
No. 5 -- Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Krisztian Krocsko (PUR) - 6-1, 6-2
No. 6 -- Alex Jesse (ILL) def. Evan Hawkins (PUR) - 6-2, 6-1
No. 1 -- #80 Hiltzik/Jesse (ILL) def. Tatarczyk/Krocsko (PUR) - 8-4
No. 2 -- Dujovne/Acosta (PUR) def. Abdelnour/Gosea (ILL) - 9-8
No. 3 -- Poziomski/Kovacs (PUR) def. Kopinski/Page (ILL) - 8-6