NCAA Mens Tennis

Men’s Tennis Takes Down No. 17 North Carolina From Okonkwo Clinch

Notre Dame

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Illinois men’s tennis defeated No. 17 North Carolina 4-2 Saturday evening at Atkins Tennis Center. 

Graduate student Oliver Okonkwo clinched the match for the Illini with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 win over Will Peters.

Karlis Ozolins and Hunter Heck took another doubles win over Will Jansen and Karl Poling, 6-4. The win marks the duo’s 13th win on the season. 

Singles had a hot start with Ozolins and Heck winning their matches almost simultaneously – first Heck against Poling 6-2, 6-2 then Ozolins beating Jansen (NC) 6-3, 6-2. 

Following a loss from William Mroz, Miyoshi took a win over Benjamin Kittay (NC) 6-4, 6-4. 

Then began the tough battle  not only Okonkwo, but also with Alex Petrov, who was in a 5-7, 6-3, 4-3, unf. back and forth with Phillip Jordan. 

“It was a definition of a team effort,” head coach Brad Dancer said. “We respect North Carolina so much, they are an awesome team; I mean they threw us in doubles. In singles we had Karlis, Kenta and Hunter dialed in. Poling is an elite player and Hunter was able to get control of that match and he took that match in commanding style. Petrov and Okonkwo just kept refusing and those kinds of attitudes is what’s going to help us go through the rest of the season. It was huge to have Okonkwo have that moment.

I think Okonkwo has had some great mentoring from our alum Kevin Anderson, they’ve really connected. So big shout out to our remote coach, Kevin Anderson.” 

The Illini now go to 4-2 on the year with North Carolina falling to 3-3 overall. 



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