EAST LANSING, April 8, 2019 (Press Release)
The No. 15 Illini men’s tennis team record their 27th consecutive win over the Spartans on Sunday afternoon at the MSU Outdoor Tennis Courts in East Lansing, Mich. Illinois swept the Spartans 7-0, extending the overall series, 60-28. As a former MSU men’s tennis player and assistant coach, head coach Brad Dancer posted his 14th win over the Spartans today. The Orange and Blue go undefeated in Big Ten play (6-0), while maintaining a 12-6 overall record on the season.
The Illini easily defeated the doubles point with wins in position No. 2 and 3. Redshirt sophomore Gui Gomes and junior Vuk Budic were the first ones off the court with a 6-0 win over Michigan State’s Billy Shisler and Carson Gates, 6-0. The Illini duo are now on a four-game winning streak in doubles play, while also going 4-0 in Big Ten play. Making their doubles debut together, freshman Keenan Mayo and junior Noe Khlif clinched the doubles point for the Orange and Blue with a 6-3 win over Michigan State’s Ivan Rakic and Colin Harvey in the No. 2 position. Illinois is on a four-game winning streak in doubles play, while maintaining an undefeated 6-0 record in Big Ten doubles play.
Sophomore Alex Brown picked up the Illini’s first singles point with a victory over Anthony Pero, 6-1, 6-3. In his first Big Ten match for singles play, Budic defeated Colin Harvey, 6-2, 6-0 in the No. 6 position. Junior Aleks Kovacevic clinched the match for the Orange and Blue with a 6-1, 6-2 win over the Spartans’ Ivan Rakic. The New York native is now 13-0 in singles play, while picking up his fourth conference win.
After a 4-0 victory over the Green and White, the Illini played out the rest of the match. Junior Noe Khlif defeated MSU’s Billy Shisler, 6-3, 6-2. Khlif is now 8-1 in singles play and 5-0 in Big Ten play. The Illini were battled tested in the No. 3 and 4 positions, but still picked up the wins. Gomes defeated Carson Gates, 4-6, 7-6 (12-10), 1-0 (4-10), while Mayo concluded the Illini sweep with a 6-7 (9-11), 7-6 (7-2), 1-0 (10-4) against John Carlin in the No. 3 spot.
— Illinois M Tennis (@IlliniMTennis) 6. April 2019
The No. 15 Fighting Illini men’s tennis team closes their home slate with some big marquee matches next weekend at the Atkins Tennis Center. Next Friday, the Illini face a rising Penn State that sits third in the Big Ten behind No. 1 Ohio State and the Illinois. The Orange and Blue have won the last four matches against the Nittany Lions, including two quarterfinals during the Big Ten Tournament. Illinois leads the overall series 32-5.
Next Sunday, the Illini will have their home finale against the reigning ITA Indoors Champions, No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes. In 2015, the Orange and Blue swept the Buckeyes, 4-0, to win the 2015 Big Ten Tournament in front of the home crowd at Atkins. Despite the Scarlet and Gray’s recent success, the Illini lead the all-time series 60-49-1.
- Illinois improves its winning streak against the Spartans to 27 matches.
- The Illini still lead the all-time series against Michigan State, 60-28.
- The Orange and Blue remain undefeated in Big Ten Play, 6-0, while maintaining a 12-6 overall record on the season.
- Junior Aleks Kovacevic remains undefeated with a 13-0 singles record, while picking up his fourth conference win.
- Kovacevic clinched the match for the Illini defeating Ivan Rakic, 6-1, 6-2.
- In his first Big Ten match for singles play, Budic defeated Colin Harvey, 6-2, 6-0 in the No. 6 position.
- Junior Noe Khlif is now 8-1 in singles play and 5-0 in Big Ten play after defeating MSU’s Billy Shisler, 6-3, 6-2.
- In their doubles debut, freshman Keenan Mayo and junior Noe Khlif clinched the doubles point for the Illini with a 6-3 win over Michigan State’s Ivan Rakic and Colin Harvey in the No. 2 position.
- Doubles duo Gui Gomes and Vuk Budic are on a four-game winning streak after defeating Billy Shisler and Carson Gates, 6-0.
- Freshman Keenan Mayo won the last singles match with a 6-7 (9-11), 7-6 (7-2), 1-0 (10-4) victory over John Carlin in the No. 3 spot.
#15 Illinois 7, Michigan State 0
Singles competition: Order of Finish (2,6,1,5,4,3)
1. #9 Aleks Kovacevic (UI) def. Ivan Rakic (MSU) 6-1, 6-2
2. #42 Alex Brown (UI) def. Anthony Pero (MSU) 6-1, 6-3
3. Keenan Mayo (UI) def. John Carlin (MSU) 6-7 (9-11), 7-6 (7-2), 1-0 (10-4)
4. Gui Gomes (UI) def. Carson Gates (MSU) 4-6, 7-6 (12-10), 1-0 (4-10)
5. Noe Khlif (UI) def. Billy Shisler (MSU) 6-3, 6-2
6. Vuk Budic (UI) def. Colin Harvey (MSU) 6-2, 6-0
Doubles competition: Order of finish (3,2)
1. Jack Winkler/John Carlin (MSU) vs. Alex Brown/Aleks Kovacevic (UI) 3-4, unfinished
2. Keenan Mayo/Noe Khlif (UI) def. Ivan Rakic/Colin Harvey (MSU) 6-3
3. Gui Gomes/Vuk Budic (UI) def. Carson Gates/Billy Shisler (MSU) 6-0
Illinois 12-6, 6-0 B1G; National ranking #15
Michigan State 6-15, 0-6 B1G