Photo by Josh Wenger/Nebraska Communications

No. 14 Fighting Illini Top Huskers, 7-0

By NU Athletic Communications

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.

Results

Singles

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

Doubles

1. Aleks Kovacevic/Alex Brown (UI) def. Toby Boyer/William Gleason (NEB) 6-4

2. Zeke Clark/Noe Khlif (UI) def. Micah Klousia/Victor Moreno Lozano (NEB) 6-3

3. Vuk Budic/Gui Gomes (UI) vs. Alvaro Moreno Lozano/Jon Meyer (NEB) 4-3, unfinished

Match Notes

Nebraska 9-10

Illinois 10-6; National ranking #14

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,6,1,3,5,4)

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