Wolverines Take Down No. 18 Illinois in Final Singles Match
Evan King

April 6, 2012

Notes & Quotes

Site: Champaign, Ill. (Atkins Tennis Center)
Score: Michigan 4, #18 Illinois 3
Records: U-M (12-5, 5-1 Big Ten), Illinois (11-4, 5-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, April 8 -- at Northwestern (Evanston, Ill.), Noon CDT

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Junior Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan Prep) claimed a three-set upset against No. 4-ranked Dennis Nevolo at the No. 1 singles position to clinch the University of Michigan men's tennis team's 4-3 victory at Illinois in the final match on Friday evening (April 6) at the Fighting Illini's Atkins Tennis Center. The victory was the third in a row for the Wolverines, who improved to 5-1 in Big Ten Conference play.

King, ranked No. 10 in the latest ITA poll, extended his singles winning streak to 10 straight matches with his 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3 decision against Nevolo. After dropping the second set, the Wolverine junior fought off several break points to hold in the first game of the third set before trading several breaks with Nevolo. King broke again late to go up 5-3 and served out the final game, sealing it on a Nevolo lob attempt that went long. King is 15-2 in dual-match action this season and owns an 11-6 record against ranked opposition.

After Michigan claimed the doubles point, the Fighting Illini took the first two singles matches off court to earn a temporary advantage in the dual. Freshman Alex Petrone (Staten Island, N.Y./Laurel Springs Prep) posted a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Stephen Hoh at the No. 3 position -- his third straight-set win in as many appearances -- to even the score. Petrone earned a pair of early breaks to build a 4-0 advantage in the second and despite giving up a break late, closed out the match. He is 11-5 in dual competition.

The teams traded wins at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions. Sophomore Barrett Franks (Christchurch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys' School) defeated Tim Kopinski, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (6), at the former spot, battling back from an early break to take the first set and bouncing back after sacrificing a late lead in the second. Sophomore Alex Buzzi (Key Biscayne, Fla./Gulliver Prep) could not quite pull off his third straight clinching performance at No. 6, losing his early advantage in the third set to fall to Farris Gosea, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (6), as the Illini knotted the score at 3-3 with one match remaining.

The Wolverines won the doubles point for the third straight dual match with wins on the No. 1 and No. 2 courts. Buzzi and Franks halted their two-match losing streak with an 8-4 decision against Kopinski and Ross Guignon in the latter, before King and sophomore Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Old Bethpage JFK HS) sealed the point with an 8-5 win against the No. 45-ranked team of Nevolo and Kalmanovich. Michigan's top duo, ranked 11th nationally, improved to 11-4 in dual action and secured its third straight victory.

Michigan (12-5, 5-1 Big Ten) will wrap up its road trip on Sunday (April 8), traveling to Evanston, Ill., to face Northwestern at noon CDT at the Combe Tennis Center.

Following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 10 Evan King (U-M) d. No. 4 Dennis Nevolo (UI), 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3
No. 2 -- No. 31 Roy Kalmanovich (UI) d. Shaun Bernstein (U-M), 6-1, 6-2
No. 3 -- Alex Petrone (U-M) d. Stephen Hoh (UI), 6-0, 6-4
No. 4 -- Bruno Abdelnour (UI) d. Michael Zhu (U-M), 6-2, 6-1
No. 5 -- Barrett Franks (U-M) d. Tim Kopinski (UI), 7-6 (6), 7-6 (6)
No. 6 -- Farris Gosea (UI) d. Alex Buzzi (U-M), 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (6)

No. 1 -- No. 11 Evan King/Shaun Bernstein (U-M) d. No. 45 Dennis Nevolo/ Roy Kalmanovich (UI), 8-5
No. 2 -- Barrett Franks/Alex Buzzi (U-M) d. Tim Kopinski/Ross Guignon (UI), 8-4
No. 3 -- Stephen Hoh/Farris Gosea (UI) d. Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (U-M), 8-7 (4)

Order of Completion: Singles 2-4-3-5-6-1; Doubles 2-1-3

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423