Men's Tennis
#20 Illini Wrap Up Regular Season Sunday at Home

The Illini will honor seniors Dennis Nevolo and Roy Kalmanovich on Sunday.
The Illini will honor seniors Dennis Nevolo and Roy Kalmanovich on Sunday.

April 20, 2012

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The 20th-ranked University of Illinois men's tennis team (13-6, 7-2 Big Ten) will close out the regular season with a road match against Indiana (18-8, 5-4) on Friday at 2 p.m. in Bloomington, Ind., followed by its home finale Sunday at Noon against Purdue (10-13, 2-7). Sunday's match will serve as Senior Day for the Orange and Blue and will be held at Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.

Illinois is 41-43 all-time against Indiana after suffering a 4-3 loss last season in Bloomington, Ind. Prior to that, the Illini had won 18 straight against the Hoosiers dating back to 1997.

The Illini boast a 93-10-1 lead in the all-time series against the Boilermakers and have won their last 21 meetings since 1993. Last season, Illinois came away with a 6-1 win in West Lafayette, Ind., where current seniors Dennis Nevolo and Roy Kalmanovich and current juniors Stephen Hoh and Bruno Abdelnour each claimed victories in singles action.

The Orange and Blue checked in at No. 20 in the latest national team rankings, which were released April 17. Individually, senior Dennis Nevolo came in at No. 7 in singles, followed by fellow senior Roy Kalmanovich at No. 30. Together, they jumped 5 spots to No. 20 in doubles.

The Hoosiers are 18-8 this season with a 5-4 mark in the conference, putting them sixth in the Big Ten. Indiana is coming off a pair of wins last Sunday, taking down Wisconsin, 5-2, and DePauw, 7-0. Illinois will serve as the front end of a Senior Day doubleheader for the Hoosiers, who will face Vincennes later that evening.

Purdue is 10-13 overall and 2-7 in the Big Ten heading into the weekend but will face Northwestern on Friday before making the trip to Urbana. The Boilermakers have lost their last three contests, including a 6-0 shutout against Ohio State in their last outing. The squad features one ranked doubles team, No. 73 Diego Acosta and Aaron Dujovne.

The Illini will honor seniors Dennis Nevolo and Roy Kalmanovich prior to the match. Entering the weekend Nevolo, a 2011 All-American, boasted 109 career singles wins to rank seventh all-time at Illinois, while his 200 combined wins ranked ninth, and his 91 doubles wins ranked 10th. Kalmanovich owned 73 singles wins at the start of the weekend, including a 30-win season in 2008-09.

Ohio State (28-2, 10-0) leads the conference as the only undefeated team left in the Big Ten. Michigan (15-5,8-1) is second, followed by Illinois (13-6, 7-2) in third, Minnesota (11-6, 6-3) and Northwestern (13-8, 6-3) in fourth, Indiana (18-8, 5-4) in sixth, Michigan State (16-10, 5-5) in seventh, Nebraska (10-12, 3-6) in eighth, Purdue (10-13, 2-7) and Wisconsin (10-11, 2-7) in ninth, Penn State (11-11, 1-8) in 11th and Iowa (1-19, 0-9) in 12th.

After its only back-to-back losses of the season, the 23rd-ranked University of Illinois men's tennis team (13-6, 7-2 Big Ten) returned to its winning ways last Sunday afternoon with a 6-1 decision over Penn State (11-11, 1-8) at Sarni Tennis Center. Junior Bruno Abdelnour clinched the victory with a win at the No. 3 spot.

The Illini captured the doubles point for the first time in their last three tries, sweeping doubles for the third time this year. Freshman tandem Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon posted an 8-0 shutout against C.J. Griffin and Christopher Hasyn at the No. 2 spot, while 25th-ranked seniors Dennis Nevolo and Roy Kalmanovich cruised to a swift 8-2 victory over Russell Bader and Bryan Welnetz on court one to claim the point. Freshman Farris Gosea and junior Stephen Hoh turned in a 6-5(2) win over Taylor Cohen and Tomas Hanzlik on court three.

In singles action, Hoh got the Orange and Blue started with a quick 6-2, 6-2 win over Hasyn at the No. 5 spot. No. 38 Kalmanovich followed up with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Bader on court two. Abdelnour clinched the Illinois win with a 7-6(10), 6-1 decision over Cohen at the No. 3 position, while Nevolo added a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Hanzlik at the top spot. Gosea won a 7-5, 6-7(6), (10-2) thriller on court six to wrap up the day for the Illini.

The Orange and Blue will return to action at the 2012 Big Ten Tournament, hosted by Northwestern on April 26-29 in Evanston, Ill.