Illini Trio Make Strides in Baylor Tournament
Sept. 21, 2013
WACO, Texas – The Illini men's tennis trio of Julian Childers, Brian Page and Blake Barzarnik might not all have gotten the results they wanted on day two of the Baylor HEB Intercollegiate, but took away important lessons to apply to their game after facing some of the top talent in the tournament.
Brian Page made it the farthest in the main draw out of any Illini after reaching the quarterfinals. The Wheaton native started his day with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 Round of 16 victory over Alvaro Nazal of Gonzaga, the six seed of the tournament. Page then had to face the four-seeded Tony Lupieri from Baylor in the quarters, where he fell 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
"Page certainly took a step forward today," said associate head coach Marcos Asse. "Strategically, he played a lot smarter today. In his first match, he took a little while to get engaged but then really settled in. In his second match, he saw what one or two points can do for you to change the outcome of the match."
Julian Childers also faced a tough challenge when he squared off against Mate Zsiga in the Round of 16. The three-seed from Baylor knocked off Childers, 6-0, 6-1.
"Childers gave everything he had," Asse said. "He saw what it takes to compete at the top level against one of the best programs in the country. With Julian, it's more of acquiring a certain mindset rather than forehands and backhands. He just needs to learn how to sustain his focus over the length of the match."
Blake Bazarnik continued his tournament in the consolation bracket after a first round loss yesterday. The junior bounced back nicely with back to back wins to reach the semifinals. Bazarnik's day started with a 4-6, 6-3, 10-6 win over San Antonio's Diego Casa. Then, after a second round bye, Bazarnik continued to roll with a 6-2, 6-2 straight set victory over Nick Kamisar of Gonzaga.
"It was a good day for Blake," Asse said. "He scrapped out a win, then got better in the second match. Today, he started to knock off the competitive cobwebs. It was good for him to rebound against two tough opponents. with even tougher opponents awaiting him tomorrow."
For an updated tournament draw, please visit the following website: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=140565
Round of 16: Brian Page (ILL) def. Alvaro Nazal (ZAGS), 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
Quarterfinals: Tony Lupieri (BAY) def. Brian Page (ILL), 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
Round of 16: Mate Zsiga (BAY) def. Julian Childers (ILL), 6-0, 6-1
1st Round: Blake Bazarnik (ILL) def. Diego Casa (UTSA), 4-6, 6-3, 10-6
2nd Round: Bye
Quarterfinals: Blake Bazarnik (ILL) def. Nick Kamisar (ZAGS), 6-2, 6-1