No. 14 Fighting Illini Top Huskers, 7-0
Urbana, Ill. -- The Nebraska men's tennis team (9-10, 1-3 Big Ten) dropped a 7-0 match to the No. 14 Illinois Fighting Illini (10-6, 4-0 Big Ten) on Saturday afternoon at the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill.
The Huskers fell just short in a pair of super tie-breakers at No. 4 and No. 5 singles, but the Fighting Illini won all of the remaining matches in straight sets to clinch the victory and advance to a 4-0 mark in Big Ten Conference play.
In doubles play, senior Toby Boyer and freshman William Gleason lost a hard-fought contest to Aleks Kovacevic/Alex Brown at No. 1, 6-4, while junior Micah Klousia and freshman Victor Moreno Lozano fell to Zeke Clark/Noe Khlif at No. 2, 6-3, as Illinois claimed the doubles point.
No. 31 Brown quickly knocked off Klousia at No. 2, 6-1, 6-1, as Khlif topped sophomore Alvaro Moreno Lozano at No. 6, 6-1, 6-2 to put the Illini up 3-0.
Boyer lost only his third match of the season in a tough 6-4, 6-1 match at No. 1 with No. 14 Kovacevic, the highest-ranked opponent faced by a Nebraska player this year. Gleason then fell short to Clark at the No. 3 spot, 6-4, 6-0 as Illinois led 5-0.
After dropping the first set, 6-3, against Gui Gomes at No. 5, Nortey came back strong to win the second, also by a 6-3 margin. Nortey saved two match points after being down 9-5 in the super tie-breaker but ultimately fell short, 6-3, 3-6, 10-7.
Victor Moreno's match at the No. 4 spot followed a very similar pattern: Keenan Mayo won the first, 6-4, while Moreno took the second, also by 6-4. In the super tie-breaker, Moreno saved a couple of match points, but Mayo notched the win, 6-4, 4-6, 10-7.
The Huskers will make a short trip to Evanston, Ill., later tonight as they face off with the Northwestern Wildcats (11-9, 2-2 Big Ten) on Sunday at Noon CT. The Wildcats just defeated the No. 41 Iowa Hawkeyes, 6-1, this afternoon in Evanston.
1. #14 Aleks Kovacevic (UI) def. Toby Boyer (NEB) 6-4, 6-1
2. #31 Alex Brown (UI) def. Micah Klousia (NEB) 6-1, 6-1
3. Zeke Clark (UI) def. William Gleason (NEB) 6-4, 6-0
4. Keenan Mayo (UI) def. Victor Moreno Lozano (NEB) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7)
5. Gui Gomes (UI) def. Isaac Nortey (NEB) 6-1, 3-6, 1-0 (10-7)
6. Noe Khlif (UI) def. Chris Dean (NEB) 6-1, 6-2
Illinois 10-6; National ranking #14
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,6,1,3,5,4)