No. 14 Illinois Drops Close Match With No. 8 North Carolina

Aleks Kovacevic (photo: Illinois M Tennis/twitter)

URBANA, February 12, 2019 (Press Release)

The No. 14 Illini men’s tennis team fell 4-3 to the No. 3 North Carolina in a tightly contested matchup on Saturday night at Atkins Tennis Center.

“Tough, tough loss,” said head coach Brad Dancer. “The guys obviously gave everything they had and that is all you ever ask for. Our crowd is awesome, and they make it such an experience to play at Atkins.” 

The Tar Heels jumped out to a 1-0 lead after clinching the doubles point. Freshman Keenan Mayo put the Illini on the scoreboard with a win over Brian Cernoch, 6-4, 6-2. Sophomore Caleb Chakravarthi won his seventh consecutive singles match this year, defeating Simon Soendergaard with a pair of 6-3s.

In his first dual season match, freshman Siphosothando Montsi put up a fight, but fell short to Blaine Boyden, 6-4, 7-5. In a three-set thriller, junior Aleks Kovacevic came back strong after dropping the first set to win against William Blumberg, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Tied at 3-3, court two decided the fate of the match. In an extremely competitive match, sophomore Alex Brown battled back to win the second set, 7-6(4) against Benjamin Sigouin. Ultimately, Brown fell to Sigouin, 4-6 to give the Tar Heels the match win.

The No. 14 Fighting Illini head to the Windy City for a packed filled week of tennis as the Orange and Blue host No. 7 UCLA for a dual, before commencing the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Friday, Feb. 15 at Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago, Ill.


Singles competition

1. #24 Aleks Kovacevic (UI) def. #52 William Blumberg (UNC) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3

2. Benjamin Sigouin (UNC) def. #23 Alex Brown (UI) 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4

3. #36 Josh Peck (UNC) def. #30 Zeke Clark (UI) 6-3, 6-4

4. #125 Keenan Mayo (UI) def. #77 Brian Cernoch (UNC) 6-4, 6-2

5. #116 Caleb Chakravarthi (UI) def. Simon Soendergaard (UNC) 6-3, 6-3

6. Blaine Boyden (UNC) def. Siphosothando Montsi (UI) 6-4, 7-5

Doubles competition

1. Alex Brown/Caleb Chakravarthi (UI) vs. Brian Cernoch/Benjamin Sigouin (UNC) 4-4, unfinished

2. Blaine Boyden/William Blumberg (UNC) def. Keenan Mayo/Aleks Kovacevic (UI) 6-2

3. Mac Kiger/Ladd Harrison (UNC) def. Vuk Budic/Zeke Clark (UI) 6-3