Showing posts with label Fighting Illini. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fighting Illini. Show all posts

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Hiltzik, Vukic Lead Illini In Conference Home Win

The Illinois men's tennis team improved to 16-7 on the season and 7-1 in Big Ten play after hosting Michigan State University on Friday, 4-0. The victory notched the eighth consecutive victory for the Illini who have not lost since March 22 against #18 Kentucky at the time.

The Fighting Illini jumped out to 1-0 lead after securing the doubles point for the eighth time in the last nine matches over the Spartans. MSU was looking for a win after losses to Wisconsin and Minnesota in the previous week.

Illini tennis player Aron Hiltzik
Aron Hiltzik hits a forehand shot Michigan State. Hiltzik picked up both the singles victory over Michael Dube and a doubles win with partner Aleks Vukic over Spartans' Mac Roy and Jasper Koenen.

Illini dynamic duo Brian Page and Julian Childers won their third straight match putting a 6-0 bagel on Billy Shisler and Ivan Rakic at #3 doubles. Later, Jared Hiltzik and Pengxuan Jiang defeated Michael Dube and Colin Harvey, 6-1, to give the Orange and Blue the doubles point.

With three nationally-ranked singles competitors on the roster, it didn't take long for Illinois to win the first of two matches this weekend.

Aron Hiltzik, ranked #70 nationally, extended his winning streak to eight matches after rolling over Spartans' Michael Dube, 6-2, 6-2.

Fighting Illini's Brian Page
Brian Page keeps the ball in play during a long second set rally against Ivan Rakic in the Illinois men's tennis team's home match against Michigan State. Page, a senior, defeated Ivan Rakic, 6-4, 6-2, and won his doubles match with Julian Childers over Billy Shisler and Rakic.

On the first 80ยบ day of the year and only the second outdoor match for the Illini, #4 ranked Aleks Vukic pummeled MSU's Mac Roy on the #1 singles court, 6-2, 6-4. The win keeps Vukic's conference record unblemished at 6-0 in Big Ten play.

Brian Page won his third straight singles contest sealing the deal for Illinois. He clinched the match for the Illini on court five defeating Ivan Rakic, 6-4, 6-2, in their #5 singles matchup.

The Lllini host Michigan on Sunday in their final home match of the season.


Singles competition
1. #4 Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. Mac Roy (MICHST) 6-2, 6-4
2. #70 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) def. Michael Dube (MICHST) 6-2, 6-2
3. Julian Childers (ILL) vs. Jasper Koenen (MICHST) 5-7, 4-4, unfinished
4. Asher Hirsch (ILL) vs. Alexander Kim (MICHST) 6-2, 4-6, unfinished
5. Brian Page (ILL) def. Ivan Rakic (MICHST) 6-4, 6-2
6. Alex Jesse (ILL) vs. Colin Harvey (MICHST) 6-4, 4-3, unfinished
Doubles competition
1. Aleks Vukic/Aron Hiltzik (ILL) vs. Mac Roy/Jasper Koenen (MICHST) 5-3, unfinished
2. Jared Hiltzik/Pengxuan Jiang (ILL) def. Michael Dube/Colin Harvey (MICHST) 6-1
3. Brian Page/Julian Childers (ILL) def. Billy Shisler/Ivan Rakic (MICHST) 6-0

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ines Vias Post-Match Interview

Ines Vias Post-Match Interview - Indiana (4/8/16)

Ines Vias post-match interview following the #Illini's 5-2 win over No. 68 Indiana

Posted by Fighting Illini Women's Tennis on Saturday, April 9, 2016

Video Highlights From Illini Womens W Over Indiana

@IlliniWTennis vs. Indiana Highlights 4/8/16

Check out the highlights from the Illinois Women's Tennis victory over No. 68 Indiana last night! #Illini

Posted by Fighting Illini Women's Tennis on Saturday, April 9, 2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Brad Dancer Previews Upcoming Exciting Illini Opponents

Coach Dancer met with media today to preview the BIG home weekend vs. No. 2 Virginia and No. 8 TCU. #Illini

Posted by Fighting Illini Men's Tennis on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Monday, September 21, 2015

Fighting Illini Ranked One Of The Top Teams In The Nation

Three #ILLINI ranked in the preseason national rankings! @JaredHiltzik @AronHiltzik @Vuki_SMASH23 󾭞

Posted by Fighting Illini Men's Tennis on Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Illini Women Get New Coach, Evan Clark Takes The Reigns

The Illinois women's tennis team has a new head coach. Evan Clark was named interim head coach for the 2015-16 season after head coach Michelle Dasso's contract was not renewed by athletic director Mike Thomas. He joined the Fighting Illini program nine months ago as Dasso's assistant.

Clark knows the game. In high school, he boasted a record of 31 wins and no losses and won the 2002 Missouri High School 4A State Singles Championship. The outstanding season performance earned him the Kansas City Star Tennis Male Athlete of the Year award. He later was captain of the UM-Kansas City men's tennis team from 2002-04 and finished his collegiate career as a member of the Arkansas men's tennis program.

His coaching experience includes stints UNC Wilmington, where he Clark led the Seahawks to the program's first women's Colonial Athletic Association conference championship. He also coached at the University of Missouri-Kansas City guiding the team to a 31-11 record. Prior to his time at UNC Wilmington, Clark served as the assistant coach for the University of Maryland's men's team from 2010-12.

In the video below courtesy of Illini Athletics posted on YouTube, here's more about the man who will lead the 2015-2016 campaign.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Illini Duo Advance At Champaign's Car-X Futures

Aron Hiltzik and Tim Kopinski advanced to second round of the Car-X Futures of Champaign tennis tournament on Wednesday morning. Doing battle on their home court as they have many time before, the pair enjoyed victories against formidable opponents on the Fighting Illini hard courts.

Kopinski squared off against former teammate Farris Gosea in the day's opening match. Losing his first service game and giving Gosea a 2-1 early break, the Stagg High School alum stormed back to win the first set 6-2. Unable to continue due to problems with his shoulder, Gosea retired in the second set up, 1-2.

Tim Kopinski races toward the ball

Former Fighting Illini tennis star Tim Kopinski races toward the ball during the first set of his match against former teammate Farris Gosea. Kopinski advanced to the next round after Gosea retired, 6-2, 1-2. Follow this link to see more Car-X Futures photos.

Aron Hiltzik makes a routine backhand shot during second set action in his first round match against William Bushamuka at the Car-X Futures of Champaign tennis tournament. Hiltzik, a sophomore for the Fighting Illini tennis team, prevailed over the University of Kentucky star 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-4 in an all out battle to advance to the second round on Thursday.

Meanwhile, one court over, Aron Hiltzik had his hands full against the University of Kentucky power hitter William Bushamuka. The IMG Academy trained Bushamuka and Hiltzik traded games like the jabs of seasoned boxers during and emotional first set. Back-to-back double faults late in the tie break by the Wildcat sophomore solidified Hiltzik's win.

Calling out in French out of frustration after hitting the ball out of bounds on the deuce side, Bushamuka was slapped with a warning for uttering something that sounded like - according to the head official - an obscenity in English. He responded to the infraction by rolling to a 6-1 second set victory over Hiltzik, who came back to punch his ticket to the second round in 6-4 final set win.
Kopinski will face #4 seed Kevin King at 11:00am on Thursday. Hiltzik will take the court at 9:30am to face #1 seed Ramkumar Ramanathan.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dancer Named ITA Coach Of The Year

Congratulations to Illinois head coach Brad Dancer, assistant Marco Asse and Tim "Mr. Kool" Kopinski on receiving honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Dancer was named the ITA Midwest Region Coach of the Year.

"The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the 2015 Regional Awards Tuesday and the Illini took home a total of four Midwest Region awards. Head coach Brad Dancer was named the Midwest Region Coach of the Year, marking his first coach of the year accolade. Associate head coach Marcos Asse was named the Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year for the first time, while senior Tim Kopinski was named the Midwest ITA Senior Player of the Year and Midwest ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award winner." Read more here . . .

Congrats Brad Dancer, Marcos Asse and Tim Kopinski on earning ITA Midwest Region Awards!! Story:

Posted by Fighting Illini Men's Tennis on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Four Illini Tennis Seniors To Be Honored

Four seniors will be recognized Sunday on Senior Day vs. Nebraska! Don't miss the Fighting Illini's last home match of the season!

Ross Guignon reflects on his time as an #Illini. Four seniors will be recognized Sunday on Senior Day vs. Nebraska!

Posted by Fighting Illini Men's Tennis on Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Monday, April 6, 2015

Illinois Women Win Three In A Row

"For the second day in a row, the Fighting Illini women's tennis team topped a new Big Ten opponent. Illinois made quick work of the visiting Scarlet Knights taking the match 7-0 in straight sets. The win capped off a perfect three-match post-spring break home stand for head coach Michelle Dasso's crew."

The #Illini took their third match in four days today at the Atkins Tennis Center!Full Recap:

Posted by Fighting Illini Women's Tennis on Sunday, April 5, 2015

Friday, April 3, 2015

Michelle Dasso Post-Long Beach Match Interview

Hear what coach Dasso had to say after the Illini upset No. 33 Long Beach State last night

Posted by Fighting Illini Women's Tennis on Friday, April 3, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Aleks Vukic who was named B1G Tennis Athlete of the Week

Illinois freshman Aleks Vukic went a perfect 4-0 on the weekend helping the Illini retain their ITA #3 ranking and earning his first nod in Big Ten's weekly recognition program. Ranked #50 in the country, Vukic is destined to receive B1G accolades in the years to come with the Fighting Illini.

Congrats to Aleks Vukic who was named B1G Tennis Athlete of the Week!! #ILLINI Story:

Posted by Fighting Illini Men's Tennis on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

Streak Breaking Illini Improve To 5-0 In Big Ten

Jared Hiltzik celebrates
March 29, 2015 - Champaign, IL - Fighting Illini tennis player Jared Hiltzik celebrates his victory over OSU's Mikal Torpegaard. In dominating fashion, Illinois defeated Ohio State breaking the Buckeyes' 97-match winning streak, 4-0. Hiltzik took down Torpegaard, 6-2, 6-4. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
If you heard what sounded like elephants rumbling across the prairie stepping on a thousand peanut shells, well, buckeyes to be exact, that was sound of the men’s Fighting Illini Team smashing visiting Ohio State in their Big Ten showdown on Sunday.

The Orange & Blue ended the 97-straight regular season Big Ten winning streak held by the Buckeyes that started back in 2005. And, they did it with absolute inscrutable domination of their opponent.

“It is exciting for us. Ohio State has been a great program for a long period time,” said Illinois head coach Brad Dancer while team celebrated and fan exited the Atkins Tennis Center after the match.  “It’s another good win for our program.”

After the first doubles win from Aron Hiltzik and Ross Guignon, who played a solid set after an early break to win 8-5 against Ohio State’s Hunter Callahan and Chris Diaz, the Illini clinched the doubles point on court three with Farris Gosea and Aleks Vukic defeating Buckeye duo Herkko Pollanen and Mikal Torpegaard also by a score of 8-5.
With well-rehearsed equanimity the Illini leapt into singles play winning the first three matches to remain undefeated at 5-0 in league play and 17-3 overall.

Starting the rout, Aussie native Aleks Vukic, who picked up his 11th win of the season, notched the first singles point of the day taking down OSU’s Ralf Steinbach 6-2, 6-1.

Then it was Fighting Illini’s Jared Hiltzik turn toppling Mikal Torpegaard 6-2, 6-4, in the battle at the #1 position for both teams.

“Jared works his tail off. He’s really driven, incredibly focused,” Dancer said lauding the junior’s work ethic. “His game is becoming more offensive so he is able to do more things to different types of players.”

Not long after the conclusion of Hiltzik’s match, fellow junior Tim Kopinski terminated Buckeye’s Hunter Callahan.

“I get emotional when I talk about him because he is such a special kid,” Dancer said. “After watching the first 10 to 15 minutes, I thought TK should have the opportunity to do the things he wanted to do out there.”

After frustrating his Ohio State opponent the last four games of the second set, Kopinski’s win put a halt to three other matches in progress after knocking off Callahan in two sets, 6-1, 6-3.

“He won a lot points just being calm and executing his pattern,” added Dancer.

The Illini hit the road next weekend with matches at Michigan State on Saturday and then invade Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines on Sunday.

Match Results

1. #22 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. #32 Mikal Torpegaard (OSU) 6-2, 6-4
2. #64 Farris Gosea (ILL) vs. #44 Chris Diaz (OSU) 6-2, 4-3, unfinished
3. #42 Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Hunter Callahan (OSU) 6-1, 6-3
4. #52 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) vs. Kevin Metka (OSU) 6-7 (1-7), 2-1, unfinished
5. #50 Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. #83 Ralf Steinbach (OSU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Toshiki Matsuya (ILL) vs. Matt Mendez (OSU) 0-6, 2-5, unfinished 

1. #75 Jared Hiltzik/Tim Kopinski (ILL) vs. #5 Kevin Metka/Ralf Steinbach (OSU) 7-7, unfinished
2. Aron Hiltzik/Ross Guignon (ILL) def. #55 Hunter Callahan/Chris Diaz (OSU) 8-5
3. Farris Gosea/Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. #74 Mikal Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) 8-5

Tim Kopinski hits a forehand
March 29, 2015 - Champaign, IL - Tim Kopinski hits a forehand shot in his match against OSU's Hunter Callahan during first set action. In dominating fashion, Illinois defeated Ohio State breaking the Buckeyes' 97-match winning streak, 4-0. Kopinski picked up the win after defeating Callahan 6-1, 6-3. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Boone's Victory Deflects Wolverine Sweep

"Boone denied Michigan of the sweep as she took down the Wolverines' Mire Ruder-Hook by a line of 4-6, 6-2, 1-0(10). The win was Boone's sixth singles win on the season. "

Jerricka Boone kept the Illini from being swept with a victory at No. 5 singles against 12th ranked MichiganRecap:
Posted by Fighting Illini Women's Tennis on Sunday, March 29, 2015

Match results:

Singles competition
1. #26 Ronit Yurovsky (UM) def. Melissa Kopinski (ILL) 6-3, 6-1
2. #23 Emina Bektas (UM) def. Alexis Casati (ILL) 6-4, 7-6 (8-6)
3. Sarah Lee (UM) def. Louise Kwong (ILL) 6-2, 6-4
4. Alex Najarian (UM) def. Grace Tapak (ILL) 7-5, 6-4
5. Jerricka Boone (ILL) def. Mira Ruder-Hook (UM) 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (12-10)
6. Sara Remynse (UM) def. Madie Baillon (ILL) 6-4, 6-4

 Doubles competition
1. #12 Alex Najarian/Emina Bektas (UM) def. Melissa Kopinski/Louise Kwong (ILL) 8-3
2. #58 Sarah Lee/Ronit Yurovsky (UM) vs. Jerricka Boone/Madie Baillon (ILL) 6-3, unfinished
3. Mira Ruder-Hook/Sara Remynse (UM) def. Alexis Casati/Grace Tapak (ILL) 8-1

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Heartbreaker Sinks Illini Women At Michigan State

It was close but no 'W' for the Illini women's tennis team in their bid to knock down Michigan State a peg in their Big Ten match on Saturday. Yet to record a conference win, Illinois battled ferociously but could not pull out the needed victory to upset the Spartans in the 4-3 loss. The Orange & Blue drop to 0-5 in league (7-8 overall) while Michigan State's record remains unblemished at 5-0.

The Fighting Illini nearly upset Michigan State today but fell just short in the 4-3 loss.Recap:
Posted by Fighting Illini Women's Tennis on Saturday, March 28, 2015

Match Results:

Singles competition
1. Erin Faulkner (MSU) def. Alexis Casati (ILL) 6-1, 7-6 (7-3)
2. Melissa Kopinski (ILL) def. Lexi Baylis (MSU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Louise Kwong (ILL) def. Aslina Chua (MSU) 6-2, 6-0
4. Catherine Parenteau (MSU) def. Grace Tapak (ILL) 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 6-4
5. Athena Trouillot (MSU) def. Jerricka Boone (ILL) 7-5, 1-6, 6-4
6. Emily Meyers (MSU) def. Julia Jamieson (ILL) 6-0, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. Melissa Kopinski/Louise Kwong (ILL) def. Erin Faulkner/Athena Trouillot (MSU) 8-3
2. Jerricka Boone/Madie Baillon (ILL) def. Allie Baer/Catherine Parenteau (MSU) 8-1
3. Lexi Baylis/Emily Meyers (MSU) vs. Alexis Casati/Grace Tapak (ILL) 3-7, unfinished

Saturday, March 28, 2015

#3 Ranked Illini Too Hot For Nittany Lions

Jared Hiltzik rushes forward
Illini's Jared Hiltzik rushes forward in his match against Nittany Lions' Alex Fennell to return a drop shot Hiltzik downed Fennell in two sets, 6-1, 7-5.
It was chilly outside, but the #3 ranked Illinois tennis team was red hot inside Atkins Tennis Center against visiting Penn State in Big 10 action Friday afternoon.

Taking the doubles point in dominating fashion with wins from Jared Hiltzik/Tim Kopinski and
Aleks Vukic/Farris Gosea, the Illini powered their way to victory picking up victories in five of the six singles matches.

"The doubles was a little bit better today. I thought we played with a little bit more purpose. That is going to be important for us as we go forward," said head coach Brad Dancer in his post-game interview. "It is a little bit easier playing with purpose."

Penn State's only victory of the day was in the #2 singles match between Leo Stakhovsky and Farris Gosea. Liberally depositing drop shots on both sides of the court, Stakhovsky survived a third-set tie break to squeak by Gosea, 6-3, 4-6, 10-7. 

While the Nittany Lions drop to 9-11 on the season and 1-3 in league play, the Illini dropped one spot to #3 nationally but improved their overall record to 16-3 and remain undefeated in Big10 play.

Dancer and the Illini won't have too many hours to enjoy the victory. The team will host Ohio State at noon on Sunday.

 "Our guys love tennis. They love being a part of it," Dancer said about his team knowing they will be ready for the Buckeyes. "They are really excited about Sunday."

Final Match Results:

1. #22 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. Alex Fennell (PSU) 6-1, 7-5
2. Leo Stakhovsky (PSU) def. #64 Farris Gosea (ILL) 6-3, 4-6, 10-7
3. #42 Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Matt Barry (PSU) 6-2, 6-3
4. #52 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) def. Thomas Hanzlik (PSU) 6-1, 6-2
5. #50 Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. Aws Laaribi (PSU) 6-3, 6-1
6. Toshiki Matsuya (ILL) def. Roman Trkulja (PSU) 7-6 (0-7), 6-4 

1. #75 Jared Hiltzik/Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Leo Stakhovsky/Aws Laaribi (PSU) 8-4
2. Ross Guignon/Aron Hiltzik (ILL) vs. Alex Fennell/ChristianLutschaunig (PSU) 6-3, unfinished
3. Aleks Vukic/Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Matt Barry/Roman Trkulja (PSU) 8-1