#6 Illini Set to Host College Match Day Friday vs. Pepperdine
March 12, 2014
THE WEEKEND AHEAD
COLLEGE MATCHDAY PROMOTIONS/INFO
In addition, the Illini were one of eight schools to be chosen for the Fan Experience trailer as well. The 53-foot interactive trailer will be parked on site and give fans a hands-on and virtual look into the world of tennis.
Fans also don't need to worry about food for hot dogs and cotton candy will be available. There will also be a face painting station and free College MatchDay hats will be distributed. Festivities for the event begin at 4:30 p.m. CT.
COLLEGE MATCHDAY PLAYING FORMAT
Each singles match will be worth one point toward the team total, with four points required to win the team match. Once one team reaches four points and clinches the match, the remaining matches will not be completed. In the case of a 3-3 tie after the singles matches, three doubles matches - played using 10-point super tiebreaks - will be used to determine the winner in what amounts to college tennis' version of "overtime." The team that wins two of the three doubles matches wins the team match.
Farris Gosea continues his best start to a season in his three-year career. The junior is 10-2 this spring dual season, the winner of four straight matches and has compiled a 5-1 mark against singles foes ranked in the top-50. Gosea has recently filled in for Jared Hiltzik at the No. 1 singles position, where he has accomplished a 3-0 mark.
Both Blake Bazarnik and Tim Kopinski have been the winners of three straight matches. Kopinski is 8-3 this spring, primarily playing in the No. 3 slot where he has gone 6-2. Kopinski has already achieved some key victories, knocking off then No. 13 Jeremy Efferding of Texas A&M and No. 24 George Goldhoff of Texas. Bazarnik has also achieved eights wins (8-2), playing both the No. 3 and 4 positions. The Illini are 9-1 this season when the No. 3 singles position has emerged victorious.
BIG TEN TENNIS ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
ILLINI IN THE RANKINGS
Jared Hiltzik inched back closer to his career high singles ranking of No. 4 this week, moving one position to No. 7. Hiltzik is 6-3 overall this spring with a 4-2 mark against top-100 ranked opponents. Gosea's climb up the charts continued yet again this week, jumping from No. 23 to No. 17. Gosea started the season ranked 106th. Tim Kopinski suffered a slight drop in his singles ranking, sliding to 42nd in the country. The junior's season high is No. 24.
In doubles, Kopinski and Ross Guignon accomplished a career high No. 3 ranking this week. Meanwhile, Hiltzik and Jesse check in at No. 48.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon continue to lead by example. The duo are 8-2 this spring and the winners of five straight. The Illinois pairing have won four of its five matches against top-25 ranked teams. Farris Gosea has recently formed a new team with Alex Jesse, with the switch occurring March 2 at Northwestern. The result is a 2-0 start for the team.
Roberto Cid is the top singles player for the USF as the sophomore is ranked 65th in the country in singles. In doubles, Cid and Sasha Gozun are ranked 24th while Oliver Pramming and Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz are ranked 69th.
Illinois previously met Pepperdine on Feb. 15 at the National Indoor Championships where the Illini walked away with a 4-0 shutout. After claiming the doubles point, Tim Kopinski, Brian Page and Ross Guignon clinched the match in singles. Pepperdine was ranked 15th in the country at that time and has since fallen out of the top-25 rankings. Illinois is 7-5 against Pepperdine all-time
The Waves are led by Alex Sarkissian who is 9-3 overall. Sarkissian is ranked 27th in singles and is 4-3 in his last 10 matches. David Sofaer also possesses a national ranking, checking in at No. 115. The senior is 6-6 this spring. In doubles, Sarkissian and Francis Alcantara are ranked 15th.
Baylor boasts three players ranked in the top-35 in No. 8 Julian Lenz, No. 15 Patrick Pradella and No. 31 Diego Galeano. Lenz is 8-1 this spring with a 5-1 mark at the No. 1 singles position. Pradella is 3-4 in dual matches while Galeano is 6-4. Baylor possesses no ranked teams in doubles.