Tiley Earns 100th Career Win
The University of Illinois men's tennis team, ranked No. 2 in the country, extended its school-record conference win streak to 23 matches as the Illini defeated Iowa, 5-2, today at the Atkins Tennis Center. In the process, the squad gave Craig Tiley his 100th career victory as head coach at Illinois.
"Craig's done a great job with this program," said junior Cary Franklin. "He's taken Illinois from an 11th place conference finish (in his first year) to where we are now, aiming for a national title. He deserves every accomplishment he achieves."
Tiley is now 100-53 at the helm of the Illinois program, becoming just the second coach in UI history to crack the century mark. Howard Braun holds the school record with a career coaching mark of 183-84, but while it took Braun 15 years to reach 100 wins, Tiley accomplished this feat in only his sixth season. Tiley began his coaching career on an interim basis in 1993, as the Illini went 0-11 in conference. Since then, the 1998 Big Ten Coach of the Year has led his squad to back-to-back Big Ten titles.
For the eighth straight match, the Illini claimed an early 1-0 lead by clinching the doubles point. At No. 1 doubles, the team of Franklin and Oliver Freelove, ranked No. 7 in the country, routed Iowa's Jentler/Dunn, 8-1, for its eighth straight victory. At the No. 2 spot, the pair of Jeff Laski and Jamal Parker improved to a perfect 8-0 on the year with an 8-5 win over the duo of Cleveland/Bamsey.
For the second straight day, senior Arnaud Lantin earned the clinching win at No. 6 singles, beating Ben Bamsey, 6-4, 6-3. At No. 2 singles, Franklin improved to 24-9 on the season and 15-2 in dual matches with a 6-2, 6-3, defeat of J.R. Chidley. Freshman Mike Kosta rallied for his 21st win of the season, coming back from a set down to beat Peter Mandic, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, at the No. 4 spot.
The Illini are now 16-2 on the year, 4-0 in conference, and have won 17 consecutive matches at home. Illinois continues the Big Ten slate next weekend on the road, as the Orange and Blue travel to Penn State on Friday, April 9, before playing at Ohio State on Sunday, April 11.