Friday's match marks senior day for Stephen Hoh and Bruno Abdelnour
April 18, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - For seniors Stephen Hoh and Bruno Abdelnour, this Friday's contest with Indiana marks the last regular season match at Atkins Tennis Center. Both the Fighting Illini (13-9, 6-3 B1G) and Hoosiers (16-11, 6-3 B1G) are tied for fourth place in the Big Ten standings. The matchup is scheduled for a 3 p.m. CT start-time.
Illinois will be fighting for positioning in the Big Ten Tournament this Friday as both the Illini and Hoosiers are tied for fourth in the conference standings at 6-3. Ohio State (9-0), Michigan (8-1) and Minnesota (7-2) hold the top three spots while Michigan State is right behind the Illini at 5-4.
The Orange and Blue will look to close the overall series gap, as Indiana currently leads 44-41. Illini head coach Brad Dancer is 7-2 against the border-state rival, though Illinois has dropped the past two matches.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
Indiana has seen great success down the final stretch, amassing six wins in their previous seven contests. Last week was a topsy-turvy weekend for the Hoosiers, dropping a 6-1 match at Minnesota but then claiming a 7-0 shutout vs. Wisconsin.
The singles leader for the 2013 Indiana squad is Sam Monnette with his 21-5 dual match record. The freshman is 7-2 in Big Ten singles play, with a 6-2 mark in the No. 1 position and a 10-1 record in No. 2. Monnette is ranked 104th in the country.
The Illini will also have to look out for Isade Juneau who is 18-9 overall in dual matches, going 7-3 in his last 10. In addition, Juneau is ranked twice by the ITA in doubles. First, he is ranked 19th along with Monnette, then checks in at the No. 53 slot with Josh McTaggart.
In the April 16 ITA poll, both Illini singles and doubles players achieved career high marks. Freshman Jared Hiltzik jumped to #31 in singles while Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon are now #11 as a doubles team. Furthermore, Kopinski also ranks with Farris Gosea in doubles, checking in at #77. Lastly, Hiltzik, along with fellow freshman Alex Jesse, have achieved their first doubles ranking at #80.
HILTZIK NAMED BIG TEN TENNIS ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Last weekend against #5 Ohio State and Penn State, freshman Jared Hiltzik accumulated a 4-0 combined mark in doubles and singles, and as a result, the conference office came calling on Wednesday with the Big Ten Tennis Athlete of the Week award. The honor is Hiltzik's second on the season, previously acknowledged on March 6. The highlight of the weekend came when Hiltzik knocked off then undefeated at 19-0 #9 Blaz Rola from OSU.
Both Stephen Hoh and Bruno Abdelnour will be honored on Friday as part as Senior Day. Hoh has totaled 79 career wins donning the Orange and Blue, including a career high 23 last season. He was a Fighting Illini male newcomer of the year finalist in 2010, Academic All-Big Ten in 2011 and took the the squad's Strength and Conditioning Award in 2012.
Bruno Abdelnour has made an impact both on and off the court. Abdelnour has 59 career wins with the Illini, with 11 of those coming this season thus far. Academically, Abdelnour has earned the NCAA's Elita 89 award for highest GPA among all sophomores, juniors and seniors in the NCAA round of 16 last year. In addition, he is a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award recipient.
A Friday matchup can only mean one thing…Flapjack Friday is back! Free pancakes for all fans in attendance for the Illinois vs Indiana match.
A PEEK AHEAD
The Illini wrap up regular season play Sunday, April 21, in West Lafayette vs. Purdue.