Urbana, Ill.- The No. 50 Nebraska men's tennis team (8-7) suffered a painful 7-0 loss at the hands of No. 19 Illinois at the Atkins Tennis Center this Saturday, March 23 at 3 p.m. This was the Huskers' second match against a Big Ten rival, putting their conference record at 0-2.
The Huskers struggled in doubles play, with two loses at the No. 1 and No. 3 spots. Andre Stenger and Marc Herrmann faced tough competition on the top doubles court against the Illini's No. 36 ranked team of Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon. Stenger and Herrmann fell 8-2. At the No. 3 spot Brandon Videtich and Scott Elsass suffered a narrower loss of 8-5 to the Illini's Alex Jesse and Jared Hiltzik. At No. 2 doubles the Huskers pair of Bradford Zitsch and Dusty Boyer were 5-5 against Farris Gosea and Bruno Abdelnour before the doubles point was awarded to Illinois.
The Huskers started slow in singles play, with only Andre Stenger finishing the first set ahead of his opponent. Andre faced the Illini's Jared Hiltzik ranked #40 in the ITA National Rankings. After Stenger won 7-5 in the first set, he went on to lose the next two sets 6-4, 6-2.
Bradford Zitsch faced his first ranked opponent of his college career at No. 6 singles. He fell to #108 Ross Guignon 6-3, 6-1. Next Eric Sock was defeated at the No. 4 spot 6-1, 6-2 by Stephen Hoh. Dusty Boyers was defeated by Tim Kopinkski 7-6, 7-6 at No. 2 singles.
Marc Herrmann had a close match at the No. 3 singles against Bruno Abdelnour. Herrmann lost the first set 6-4 but claimed the second 6-3, before losing the third 6-2. After Herrmann fell in the third set Tom Blackwell did the same at the No. 5. He also gave up the first set against Farris Gosea 6-2, but came back in the second set winning 7-5. Blackwell went on to lose the third set 6-1.
"I'm dissappointed that we didn't step it up in singles when we needed to", said Coach Kerry Mcdermott. "I guess that is why they ended up winning some tight singles matches in four of the singles spots. The Big Ten is solid and every match we need to play hard and compete."
No. 50 Nebraska 0 vs No. 19 Illinois 7
Saturday, March 23
Atkin Tennis Center
1. (Illini) #36 Kopinski/ Guignon def. (NU) Herrmann/ Stenger 8-2
2. (Illini) Gosea/ Abdelnour vs (NU) Zitsch/ Boyer 5-5
3. (illini) Jesse/ Hiltzik def. (NU) Videtich/ Elsass 8-5
1.(Illini) #40 Jared Hiltzik def. (NU) Andre Stenger 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
2. (Illini) Tim Kopinski def. (NU) Dusty Boyer 7-6, 7-6
3. (Illini) Bruno Abdelnour def. (NU) Marc Herrmann 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
4. (Illini) Stephen Hoh def. (NU) Eric Sock 6-1, 6-2
5. (Illini) Farris Gosea def. (NU) Tom Blackwell 6-2, 5-7, 6-1
6. (Illini) #108 Ross Guignon def. (NU) Bradford Zitsch 6-3, 6-1
Order of Finish 6, 4 ,1, 3, 2, 5