NCAA Mens Tennis

Illini Fall in Championship Round of ITA Kickoff Weekend


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. โ€“ Illinois men’s tennis fell to No. 17 Wake Forest, 4-1, in the championship round of the ITA Kickoff Weekend at Chewning Tennis Center.ย 

“Big credit to Wake Forest,” head coach Brad Dancer said.ย  “They have a great team and brought the energy today. We put a ton of pressure on them in doubles and they didn’t blink especially in the three hole. In singles, they played well enough at certain spots to shift some of that pressure to us.”

“As is always the case, we can lament some opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on in second sets that might have shifted things back in our favor.”

Wake Forest got momentum quickly with Luciano Tacchi and Luca Pow defeating Mathis Debru and Kenta Miyoshi 6-4.ย 

Hunter Heck and Karlis Ozolins shifted the momentum after beating Matthew Thomson and Filippo Moroni, 7-5. Wake Forest won the doubles point, however, with a 7-6 (4) win over Lucas Horve and Oliver Okonkwo.ย 

Ozolins started singles strong, beating Moroni 6-3, 6-4. William Mroz, Heck and Okonkwo all dropped their singles matches, Mroz 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) to Pow, Heck 7-5, 7-5 to Suresh Ekambaram and Okonkwo 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 to Koons, giving Wake Forest the win.ย ย 

“It’s an incredibly short week for us with Duke and Carolina Friday and Saturday,” Dancer said. “So not a lot of time to think one way or another. Just prepare for Friday’s challenge.”

The Illini will come back home to host No. 8 Duke and No. 16 North Carolina…

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