April 16, 2016

Illini Whip Spartans, 4-0

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

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