Senior Marc Spicijaric.
Jan. 20, 2009
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Senior Marc Spicijaric of the No. 15 Illinois men's tennis team was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 18, the conference office announced today. Spicijaric becomes the second Illini to earn the honor this season, after freshman Dennis Nevolo won the accolade for the week ending Jan. 11.
The No. 101-ranked Spicijaric played a vital role in each of the Illini victories over the weekend, helping Illinois begin the 2009 campaign a perfect 3-0, including an upset of No. 14 Pepperdine. In singles, Spicijaric led the Illini charge against the Ball State Cardinals, as the Orange and Blue swept all matches. Playing at No. 1 singles, Spicijaric knocked off Ball State's top player Eduardo Pavia, 6-2, 6-2. The next day, the Wesley Chapel, Fla., native wasted little time in upsetting No. 57-ranked Mahmoud Kamel of Pepperdine, 6-2, 6-2.
In doubles, Spicijaric teamed up with senior Brian Livingston to go 2-0 on the weekend. The Illini duo defeated Toledo's Sven Burus and Robbie McCallum, 8-2, at No. 2 doubles. Spicijaric and Livingston continued their winning ways as they defeated Pepperdine's Jensen Turner and Hugh Clarke, 8-3, at No. 3 doubles to clinch the doubles point for Illinois.
The honor is Spicijaric's first of his career. The Fighting Illini have claimed both conference weekly honors handed out so far this season.
The Illini now take to the road to face No. 5 Virginia in Charlottesville, Vir., on Jan. 23. Match time is set for 5 p.m. CT/6 p.m. ET.