#16 Illini End Run with 4-0 Loss to #1 USC in Sweet 16
May 18, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - The 16th-ranked Fighting Illini men's tennis team (19-8) ended its run in the NCAA Tournament with a 4-0 loss to three-time defending champion and top-seeded USC (30-1) in the round of 16 Friday morning at the University of Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex. This marks the second straight year Illinois exited the tournament in the third round with a loss to the No. 1 seed.
"We wanted to just come out to play our game," Illini head coach Brad Dancer said. "There's the intimidation factor they bring, having won all the championships in a row. I think the more you focus on that, the worst you're going to play. And maybe that happened to a few guys today, but for the most part, I think USC deserves all the credit there."
The Orange and Blue got off to a strong start behind juniors Stephen Hoh and Bruno Abdelnour, who turned in an 8-6 victory over Emilio Gomez and Yannick Hanfmann at No. 3 doubles. The Illini could not capitalize on the quick win, however, dropping their matches on courts one and two to hand the doubles point to USC.
Illinois' struggles continued in singles play, as the Orange and Blue dropped three matches in straight sets, giving USC a 4-0 victory. The match marked the third shutout loss of the season for the Illini.
USC 4, Illinois 0
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,2,1)