Junior Bruno Abdelnour clinched the win for the Illini in Friday's quarterfinal matchup.
April 27, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. - The 24th-ranked University of Illinois men's tennis team (15-7) cruised to a 4-0 shutout over host and sixth-seeded Northwestern (16-10) Friday afternoon at Vandy Christie Tennis Center to advance to Saturday's semifinal round of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament. Freshman Tim Kopinski led the way with wins in both singles and doubles action.
"I thought our young guys did a great job with our energy today," Illini head coach Brad Dancer said. "They really provided a lift through doubles and on the singles court as well."
The Illini got off to a strong start, claiming the doubles point for their second straight match. Freshman Farris Gosea and Stephen Hoh took down Tobias Reitz and Sidarth Balaji, 8-4, at the No. 3 position, while freshman tandem Kopinski and Ross Guignon topped Alex Pasareanu and Raleigh Smith, 8-5, at the No. 2 spot to give the Orange and Blue a 1-0 advantage heading into singles play.
Illinois continued that momentum, as No. 8 Dennis Nevolo breezed through a 6-1, 6-3 match against Josh Graves at the top spot. Meanwhile, Kopinski turned in a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Balaji on court four, and junior Bruno Abdelnour gave the Orange and Blue the win with a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Smith at the No. 3 spot.
"Bruno really composed himself well to be the clinching point out there against a very good player from a good team," Dancer said. "We were fortunate to move on and are looking forward to the opportunity tomorrow."
The Illini will continue their run in the Big Ten Tournament tomorrow, facing the winner of No. 2 Michigan and No. 7 Michigan State in the semifinal round at 1:30 p.m. CT.
Match Results - ILL 4, NU 0
1. #8 Dennis Nevolo (ILL) def. Josh Graves (NU) 6-1, 6-3
2. #120 Spencer Wolf (NU) vs. #41 Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) 5-7, 1-4, unfinished
3. Bruno Abdelnour (ILL) def. Raleigh Smith (NU) 6-3, 6-3
4. Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Sidarth Balaji (NU) 6-1, 6-3
5. Alex Pasareanu (NU) vs. Stephen Hoh (ILL) 7-6, 0-3, unfinished
6. Chris Jackman (NU) vs. Farris Gosea (ILL) 6-2, 6-5, unfinished
1. #76 Josh Graves/Spencer Wolf (NU) vs. #28 Roy Kalmanovich/Dennis Nevolo (ILL) 3-4, unfinished
2. Tim Kopinski/Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Alex Pasareanu/Raleigh Smith (NU) 8-5
3. Farris Gosea/Stephen Hoh (ILL) def. Tobias Reitz/Sidarth Balaji (NU) 8-4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (1,4,3)