No. 15 Illinois Win 4-2 Thriller; Advance to Semifinals

No. 15 Illinois battle tough against Purdue, 4-2.

ANN ARBOR, April 27, 2019 (Press Release)

 The No. 15-ranked Illinois men’s tennis team topped Purdue with a dramatic 4-2 victory in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Big Ten Tournament on Friday at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Illinois improves to 17-7 overall this season, picking up their second win over the Purdue Boilermakers this season.

“Purdue has good players,” said head coach Brad Dancer. “They pushed us. Our guys that needed to step up, did just that.”

Purdue had the early advantage, clinching the doubles point on courts two and three. Four singles victories pushed the Illini past the Boilermakers. Due to the rain, singles play was moved indoors after most of the first sets were complete. A short delay occurred to allow the players to warm-up a maximum of 30 minutes.

Sophomore Alex Brown was able to put the Orange and Blue on the board in straight sets against Mateo Julio, 6-1, 6-3. Junior Zeke Clark continued the momentum with a win over Maksymilian Raupuk, 6-0, 7-5. Junior Vuk Budic topped Dominik Sochurek, 6-2, 6-3. Redshirt sophomore Gui Gomes clinched the match for the Illini with a victory over Santiago Galan, 7-5, 6-3. This marked Gomes’ first match clincher of the season.

Illinois advances to the Big Ten semifinals where they will face No. 3 seed Penn State on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. CT.


No. 15 Illinois 4, Purdue 2 

Singles competition: Order of Finish (2,3,5,1,6)

1. Athell Bennett (PUR) def. #9 Aleks Kovacevic (UI) 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)

2. #51 Alex Brown (UI) def. Mateo Julio (PUR) 6-1, 6-3

3. Zeke Clark (UI) def. Maksymilian Raupuk (PUR) 6-0, 7-5

4. Siphosothando Montsi (UI) vs. Stephan Koenigsfest (PUR) 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 5-4, unfinished

5. Vuk Budic (UI) def. Dominik Sochurek (PUR) 6-2, 6-3

6. Gui Gomes (UI) def. Santiago Galan (PUR) 7-5, 6-3

Doubles competition: Order of finish (2,3)

1. #52 Aleks Kovacevic/Alex Brown (UI) vs. Athell Bennett/Stephan Koenigsfest (PUR) 6-6 (5-6), unfinished

2. Maksymilian Raupuk/Mateo Julio (PUR) def. Vuk Budic/Gui Gomes (UI) 6-4

3. Santiago Galan/Franz Luna (PUR) def. Keenan Mayo/Fletcher Scott (UI) 7-5

Purdue 10-14

Illinois 17-7; National ranking #15

Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals