Illini Conclude Perfect Weekend with Win at OSU
The University of Illinois men's tennis team, ranked No. 2 in the country, wrapped up a perfect weekend on the road by rolling past Ohio State, 7-0, today in Columbus, Ohio, to extend its Big Ten winning streak to 25 matches. The Illini won every singles and doubles match this weekend in blanking the Buckeyes today and Penn State on Friday.
"I'm pleased with our results this weekend," said Head Coach Craig Tiley. "We were expected to win both matches and we didn't have any letdowns. Now we get ready to go into a very difficult home stretch with this long road trip behind us."
Illinois' Jeff Laski tied a school-record with his 31st doubles win of the season, as he paired with Jamal Parker at the No. 2 spot to defeat OSU's pair of Richardson/Johansen, 8-5. Laski is now 31-10 on the season, tying the record set by Peter Bouton in 1983, and an impressive 10-0 with Parker.
At No. 1 doubles, Illinois' third-ranked duo of Oliver Freelove and Cary Franklin also continued its march into the UI record books, as the pair improved to 25-7 on the season with an 8-5 win over the team of Basil/DeFalco. The school record for single-season wins by a doubles team is 28, set in 1983 by the duo of Bouton and Mike Meyer.
In singles play, the Illini earned straight-set victories in four of the six matches. The clinching win came at the No. 4 spot, as Jakub Teply routed Derek DeFalco, 6-3, 6-1, for his team-leading 29th victory of the year. Teply is 29-12 on the season, tying a career-high set twice before, and is only one win shy of becoming just the sixth Illini in school history to crack the 30-win barrier.
In other action, Freelove routed Chris Porter, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 1 singles to improve to 25-14 on the season. Franklin was pushed to three sets at the No. 2 spot but came away with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, win over Andrew Carlson to go 26-9 on the year, including 17-2 in all dual matches.
The Illini are now 18-2 on the year, 6-0 in conference. Illinois will host three matches next weekend in the final homestand of the season, beginning with Purdue on Thursday, April 15 at 2 p.m. The squad will be part of the Spring Sports Festival over the weekend, as the Illini host Indiana on Saturday, April 17 at 1 p.m. before going out-of conference to battle SEC-power Kentucky on Sunday, April 18 at 1 p.m.