Lincoln, Neb.- The No. 50 Nebraska men's tennis team (8-6) will head to Champaign, Ill. to face No. 19 Illinois at the Atkins Tennis Center this Saturday, March 23 at 3 p.m. This will be the Huskers' second match against a Big Ten foe, as NU will attempt to improve its conference record to 1-1. The Huskers competed at the Blue-ray Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala. last weekend, finishing with a 1-2 mark.
The Huskers began the weekend with a tough loss to Boise State, 4-0, that placed them in the consolation bracket. Against the Broncos, the Huskers struggled in doubles, dropping matches at the No.1 and 2 positions. The doubles point was clinched when Andre Stenger and Marc Herrmann were knocked off, 8-4, by Boise States pair of Andy Bettles and Nathan Sereke.
Nebraska fell to 0-2 when Eric Sock was defeated by Filipp Pogostkin 6-2, 6-1. The next point was lost when Tom Blackwell fell to Thomas Tenreiro 7-5, 6-3. No. 1 singles finished last, with Andre Stenger losing a close match to No. 30 Andy Bettles 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
The Huskers' first round of consolation play ended in a 4-2 win over Troy. Nebraska began play dropped the doubles point to Troy after losses at the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. The pair of Scott Elsass and Brandon Videtich were able to pull out NU's lone doubles victory against Troy's Tommy Cundy and Andre Stabile, 8-4.
The Huskers played strong in singles, capturing four wins to clinch the match. The first win came at the No. 1 spot when Andre Stengers downed Anas Rouchdi 6-4, 6-3. At No. 6 singles, NU's Bradford Zitsch beat the Trojan's Patrick Eichler 6-3, 6-4. The third point for the Huskers came as Andrew Dzulynsky knocked off Troy's Andre Stabile 6-4, 6-3 at No. 5 singles. The final victory was Tom Blackwell's over the Trojans' Daniel Bustamante 6-2, 7-6, at No. 4 singles.
The final match of the Blue Gray Tennis Classic was the Huskers tighest match of the weekend, as the Huskers, dropped a narrow 4-3 decision to No. 34 Columbia.
The Huskers started strong against Columbia, claiming the doubles point with wins in two of the three doubles matches. Dusty Boyer and Bradford Zitsch defeated Winston Lin and Cyril Bucher, 8-6 at No. 2 doubles, before Brandon Videtich and Scott Elsass captured a 9-7 victory over Bert Vancura and Dragos Ignat at No. 3 doubles. NU's No. 1 doubles team of Andre Stenger and Marc Herrmann fell to the Lions' top squad of Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur, 8-2. In singles, Boyer added a straight-set 6-1, 6-2 win over Columbia's Narayana, but only Tom Blackwell was able to claim another singles win for the Huskers. He defeated Eric Rubin 6-4, 6-2.
Scouting the No. 19 Fighting Illini
The University of Illinois is currently 7-6 overall and 2-0 in Big Ten matches. The Illini have dropped their last three matches, most recently, a 6-1 loss to No. 3 USC on March 18.
2013 Record:Overall record: 7-6 • Conference: 2-0 • Region: 1-1 • Home: 4-5 • Away: 0-1 • Neutral: 3-0 • vs National ranked: 3-5 • vs Regional ranked: 0-0
Head Coach: Head coach Brad Dancer enters his ninth season on the staff and eighth as head coach of the Illinois men's tennis team. Dancer became Illinois' 19th head men's tennis coach on June 28, 2005, after serving his first year on the staff as an associate head coach under Illini legend Craig Tiley. The 2009-10 season saw the Illini make their 15th consecutive NCAA appearance, in addition to securing their 13th straight 20-win season with a 20-11 overall mark.
The Huskers will return to the courts for a week of practice before their first home match since Feb. 25, when the Huskers host Ohio State on Friday, March 29, at 3 p.m. Including Saturday's match against Illinois, Nebraska has been on the road for each of its last six contests.