Illini Advance To NCAA "Sweet Sixteen"
The Fighting Illini Men's Tennis team continued its string of success, defeating Vanderbilt University, 4-2, in the second round of NCAA Regional action today at the Atkins Tennis Center.
"Vanderbilt had a great match against us and we were down convincingly," said Head Coach Craig Tiley. "We had to do something to change that, so we picked up the intensity, picked up the fight, became more aggressive and the match then turned in our favor."
Illinois earned the first point of the match in doubles, where the duo of senior Oliver Freelove and junior Cary Franklin made quick work of Kyle Porter and Andrew Nisker, winning 8-4. Then it was duo of junior Matt Snyder and senior Jakub Teply who sealed the point with an 8-5 victory over the pair of Stuart Rhodes and Brad Hambrick.
In singles action, Freelove won at the No. 1 spot in straight sets, defeating Kyle Porter 6-3, 6-4. Filling in for an absent Gavin Sontag at the No. 4 position, Teply defeated Stuart Rhodes 6-1, 3-6, 6-4. While the clinching victory came at the No. 5 spot where Snyder, matched up against Pete Blach, dropped the first set 4-6, but rallied to win the next two sets, 6-4, 6-3.
From Champaign the Illini travel to Athens, GA., site of the NCAA Championships, where they will take on the Arizona State Sundevils in the "Sweet 16" beginning May 22.
Illinois 4, Vanderbilt 2