Illini Continue Big Ten Run By Pounding PSU
The University of Illinois men's tennis team, ranked No. 2 in the country, continued its conference domination as the Illini won every singles and doubles match on the way to a 7-0 victory at Penn State tonight. Illinois has now won a school-record 24 straight Big Ten matches.
For the ninth consecutive contest, the Illini won the doubles point to take the early 1-0 lead, as several individual players continued to climb the Illinois record books. At the top spot, the duo of Oliver Freelove and Cary Franklin, ranked No. 3 in the country, defeated PSU's pair of Dorfman/Meditz, 8-5, to win its ninth straight match. Freelove/Franklin improve to 24-7 on the season, just four wins shy of tying the school record of 28 wins set in 1983.
At No. 2 doubles, the team of Jeff Laski and Jamal Parker improved to a perfect 9-0 on the season with an 8-4 defeat of Martini/Accardi. Laski becomes just the fourth UI netter in school history to win 30 doubles matches in one season, improving to 30-10 on the year. He is just one win away from tying the school record of 31 victories set by Peter Bouton in 1983.
The big story in singles was the return of junior Matt Snyder, who suffered a stress fracture in his left foot near the end of the fall season and was feared to be lost for the season. Snyder was back in the singles lineup tonight for his first dual match of the season and responded with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, win over Marc McCallister at the No. 6 spot. Every other Illini won in straight sets.
With tonight's victory, this year's Illini team became the fastest squad in school history to reach 17 wins, accomplishing the feat in only 19 matches. Illinois is now 17-2 on the year, 5-0 in conference, and will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to face Ohio State on Sunday at 1 p.m.