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    Illini Extend Big Ten Dominance at Northwestern

    Illini Extend Big Ten Dominance at Northwestern
    Illinois routs Wildcats, 6-1, to win 21st straight conference match - 3/6/99

    The University of Illinois men's tennis team extended its school-record Big Ten winning streak to 21 matches by routing Northwestern, 6-1, in Evanston on Saturday. The Illini won five of six singles matches and two of three doubles matches to improve to 10-1 on the year and 2-0 in conference.

    "The guys really responded well, particularly without Gavin (Sontag) in the lineup," said Head Coach Craig Tiley. "Our upperclassmen stepped it up and the freshmen followed. Northwestern is a tough place to play and this is probably our biggest margin of victory against them."

    The Illini unveiled a new No. 2 doubles team in the absence of Sontag, out 6-8 weeks with a broken hip. Jeff Laski, who normally teams with Sontag as the No. 6 duo in the nation, teamed with freshman Jamal Parker for the first time this season to eke out a 9-8 victory at No. 2 doubles over NU's pair of Erickson/Hol. At the top spot, Illinois' No. 1 team of Oliver Freelove and Cary Franklin, the No. 15 duo in the country, edged the team of Bengtsson/Bohaboy, 8-6.

    With the 1-0 advantage, the Illini quickly swept to two straight-set wins to make it 3-0. Franklin continued his dual-match dominance, improving to 10-1 at the No. 2 spot, by routing Brad Erickson, 6-2, 6-1. Laski rolled Martin Bengtsson, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 3 singles. Illinois earned three-set wins at the Nos. 1, 4, and 6 spots to clinch the match and seal a 6-1 win.

    The Fighting Illini will open the outdoor season in two weeks in Montgomery, Ala., as Illinois will participate in the prestigious Blue Gray Classic from March 18-21

    Singles
    No. 1 - Oliver Freelove (#7), Ill., d. Doug Bohaboy (#46), NU, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1
    No. 2 - Cary Franklin (#44), Ill., d. Brad Erickson, NU, 6-2, 6-1
    No. 3 - Jeff Laski (#79), Ill., d. Martin Bengtsson, NU, 6-2, 6-3
    No. 4 - Jakub Teply, Ill., d. Derrick Nguyen, NU, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1
    No. 5 - Joost Hol, NU, d. Royce Ramey, Ill., 5-7, 6-2, 7-5
    No. 6 - Mike Kosta, Ill., d. Jamie Sahara, NU, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

    Doubles
    No. 1 - Freelove/Franklin (#15), Ill., d. Bengtsson/Bohaboy (#32), NU, 8-6
    No. 2 - Laski/Parker, Ill., d. Erickson/Hol, NU, 9-8
    No. 3 - Nguyen/Sahara, NU, d. Teply/Kosta, Ill., 9-7

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