#5 Baylor Shuts Out #12 Illini 4-0
May 16, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. - There's only been one team this year who was able to shutout #12 Illinois men's tennis this season, and that one team struck again in the Round of 16. #5 Baylor stopped the Illini's NCAA Tournament run after a 4-0 victory on Friday in Athens, Ga. The Illini end 2014 with a 24-9 overall record on Brad Dancer's seventh trip to the Sweet 16 in his ninth year at the helm.
"Got to give Baylor a ton of credit," stated Dancer. "They got big strong guys at every position. They made you feel that presence that if you don't capitalize on a situation, than they will. We just didn't handle that pressure very well today."
The Illini found themselves in a familiar position this afternoon, after dropping the doubles point for the second match in a row this tournament. Julian Lenz and Michel Dornbusch got the best of Farris Gosea and Blake Bazarnik on court three, defeating the duo 8-3.
On court two, Hiltzik and Jesse broke Diego Galeano and Tony Lupieri to go up 5-3. However, the Baylor tandem broke the Illini right back and carried that momentum to four straight points and a 7-5 lead. After cutting the deficit to one, the Bears closed it out at 8-6 and clinched the doubles point.
No. 5 Tim Kopinski's and Ross Guignon's doubles match went unfinished in quite the duel with No. 21 Patrick Pradella and Mate Zsiga. Both tandems earned a break early on in the back and forth match. Baylor's Pradella/Zsiga were up 6-5 when the match was stopped.
In a deja vu moment, singles started the same way as Memphis, as the Illini lost five of its six first sets. This time however, the opposition was able to close it out.
#8 Jared Hiltzik fell first, dropping 6-2, 6-2 to #3 Julian Lenz. The loss brought an end to Hiltzik's 11 match win streak.
#63 Tim Kopinski fell next, losing 6-4, 6-3 to #31 Diego Galeano. Kopinski was up 3-0 in the first set before Galeano rallied to take six of the next seven games. The Bears then clinched on court four via a 6-4, 6-4 Michel Dornbusch victory over Blake Bazarnik. The junior had a 4-3 lead in the second set before dropping the next three games to Baylor.
In the unfinished matches, #18 Gosea was in quite the battle with #14 Pradella. Gosea lost the first set 7-6(4) but was up 4-3 in the second set when it was stopped. In addition, Julian Childers had the most impressive performance on the day, as the sophomore was one game away from getting the Illini on the board, up 7-5, 5-3 over Tony Lupieri. Finally, Mate Zsiga was up 6-2, 5-2 against Guignon.
The team portion of the season may be over for the Orange and Blue, but four Illini will still play on in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships. No. 8 overall seed Jared Hiltzik and at-large selection Farris Gosea will compete in the singles tournament starting Wednesday, May 21, while the 5-8 seeded team of Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon will begin their doubles quest the next day on May 22.
No. 1 -- #21 Pradella / Zsiga (BU) vs. #5 Kopinski / Guignon (ILL), 6-5, unfinished
No. 2 -- Galeano / Lupieri (BU) def. Hiltzik / Jesse (ILL), 8-6
No. 3 -- Lenz / Dornbusch (BU) def. Bazarnik / Gosea (ILL), 8-3
No. 1 -- #3 Julian Lenz (BU) def. #8 Jared Hiltzik (ILL), 6-2, 6-2
No. 2 -- #14 Patrick Pradella (BU) vs. #18 Farris Gosea (ILL), 7-6(4), 3-4, unfinished
No. 3 -- #31 Diego Galeano (BU) def. #63 Tim Kopinski (ILL), 6-4, 6-3
No. 4 -- Michel Dornbusch (BU) def. Blake Bazarnik (ILL), 6-4, 6-4
No. 5 -- Mate Zsiga (BU) vs. Ross Guignon (ILL), 6-2, 5-2, unfinished
No. 6 -- Julian Childers (ILL) vs. Tony Lupieri (BU), 7-5, 5-3, unfinished