April 23, 2010
Site: Champaign, Ill. (Atkins Tennis Center)
Score: #14 Illinois 5, Michigan 2
Records: Illinois (16-9, 8-1 Big Ten), Michigan (11-9, 7-2 Big Ten)
Next Event: Sunday, April 25 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 1 p.m.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The University of Michigan men's tennis team was handed a loss to begin its final road trip before the 2010 Big Ten Tournament, losing at No. 14 Illinois, 5-2, on Friday (April 23) at the Atkins Tennis Center. Juniors Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) and Chris Madden (Lotus, Calif./Ponderosa) won their singles matches (at Nos. 1 and 5, respectively) to give the Wolverines their only points of the day. The Wolverines record now stands at 11-9 on the season, with a 7-2 mark in Big Ten action.
Illinois jumped out to an early 1-0 lead by securing the doubles point with wins on the first two courts. Madden and freshman Chris Cha (Eureka, Mo./University of Missouri H.S.) defeated Connor Roth/Stephen Hoh (Illinois) in a tiebreaker, 8-7 (3) for Michigan's only doubles win. The Fighting Illini added a second point when No. 79 Abe Souza defeated U-M senior Mike Sroczynski (Chatham, N.J./Laurel Springs Prep) at No. 3, 6-1, 6-4.
Despite the 2-0 deficit, Michigan held early advantages on three singles courts as freshman Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan), senior George Navas (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Preparatory) and Cha won the first set in their respective matches. The three were not able to sustain the momentum on the road, however, dropping all three matches in three sets to the Fighting Illini, who increased their lead to 5-0 and clinched the match.
While the team result had already been decided, Jung and Madden mounted three-set comebacks of their own. At No. 1 singles, Jung defeated No. 66 Marek Czerwinski (Illinois), 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, and at No. 5, Madden improved his Big Ten singles record to 9-1 with a 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 win over Stephen Hoh (Illinois).
The Wolverines conclude the regular season at Indiana on Sunday (April 25) at 1 p.m.
The following are match-by-match results:
No. 1 -- No. 33 Jason Jung (U-M) d. No. 66 Marek Czerwinski (ILL), 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
No. 2 -- No. 46 Dennis Nevolo (ILL) d. No. 123 Evan King (U-M), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
No. 3 -- No. 79 Abe Souza (ILL) d. Mike Sroczynski (U-M), 6-1, 6-4
No. 4 -- Johnny Hamui (ILL) d. George Navas (U-M), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
No. 5 -- Chris Madden (U-M) d. Stephen Hoh (ILL), 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4
No. 6 -- Connor Roth (ILL) d. Chris Cha (U-M), 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
No. 1 -- Souza/Czerwinski (ILL) d. No. 40 Jung/King, 8-5
No. 2 -- Hamui/Nevolo (ILL) d. No. 58 Navas/Sroczynski, 8-3
No. 3 -- Cha/Madden (U-M) d. Roth/Hoh (ILL), 8-7 (3)
Order of Completion: Doubles 2-1-3, Singles 3-6-4*-2-5-1
* Clinched match
N O T E S
• The match between Illinois and Michigan had major ramifications with the Big Ten Tournament beginning on Thursday (April 29) in Bloomington. Illinois and Michigan came into the match tied for second behind Ohio State, which clinched at least a share of the conference title with a win over Northwestern. With the win, the Fighting Illini now control second place. Michigan slips to third and is now tied with Wisconsin after the Badgers defeated Penn State, 6-1, in Madison earlier Friday. Michigan owns the tiebreaker with Wisconsin by virtue of its 4-3 win in Ann Arbor on April 4, meaning the Wolverines can clinch the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament with a win over the Hoosiers on Sunday (April 25). However, if Wisconsin beats Ohio State and Michigan loses to Indiana, Wisconsin would be the third seed in next week's tournament and Michigan would be the fourth seed.
• The match was played indoors at the Atkins Tennis Center due to rain.
• Friday's match between Illinois and Michigan was the 94th in the series. With the loss, Michigan drops to 62-29-2 all-time against Illinois and have won only two of the last 18 meetings, dating back to the 1997 season.
• Madden played his 100th career singles match against Illinois on Friday. He is 65-35 in his three years at Michigan and leads the team with 21 singles wins this season.
• The Wolverines dropped the doubles point for the second straight match. They lost the point for only the sixth time in 20 dual matches. Michigan is 10-4 when it wins the doubles point and 1-5 when it does not.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Bruce Berque
On the match against Illinois ... "I am disappointed in the loss. Give Illinois credit. They played very well and they are a very good team. In my mind, they were aggressive in the pressure situations and we weren't as aggressive. I felt like we weren't as tough as we needed to be on some of the singles courts."
On the importance of Sunday's match against Indiana ... "Every match is important in the Big Ten. Obviously we have to bounce back. You always want to win and represent Michigan, but this match will have an impact on the Big Ten Tournament and our overall confidence heading into the postseason."
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423