Michigan Eliminated from Big Ten Tournament by No. 18 Illinois

April 29, 2011

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Site: Madison, Wis. (Cole Hall Tennis Courts)
Event: Big Ten Tournament (Quarterfinals)
Score: #18 Illinois 4, Michigan 3
Records: Michigan (13-10), Illinois (16-9)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sun., May 13-15 -- at NCAA Regionals - First & Second Rounds (Site TBD)

MADISON, Wis. -- Singles rallies by sophomore Evan King (Chicago, Ill./Kaplan) and freshman Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK) were not enough for the University of Michigan men's tennis team, which fell, 4-3, to No. 18 Illinois in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday (April 29) at the Cole Hall Tennis Courts.

Entering Friday, the Wolverines were 6-16 in doubles this season, but they took advantage to grab the 1-0 lead heading into singles. The Fighting Illini held the early advantage after an 8-1 victory at No. 3, but Michigan evened the odds with an 8-4 win at No. 2 by King and freshman Barrett Franks (Christchurch, New Zealand/Shirley Boys'). The point came down to No. 1, and the Wolverines' top team of senior Jason Jung (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) and freshman Shaun Bernstein (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview Old Bethpage JFK) were tied at 5-5 with Abe Souza and Stephen Hoh. Jung and Bernstein reeled off three straight game wins to take the match, 8-5.

Illinois won the first set on four of the six courts and tied the match at 1-1 at No. 4, with Johnny Hamui defeating Franks, 6-0, 7-5. After getting blanked in the first set, Franks tied the match at 5-5 in the second, but Hamui took the final two games to even up the team score. Illinois then went up on Michigan, 2-1, with a 6-3, 6-3 victory at No. 5 over freshman Justin Rossi (Novi, Mich./Laurel Springs Prep).

At No. 3, after winning the first set against KU Singh, Bernstein trailed, 5-1, but won the next six games to win the match, 7-5, 7-5, and tie the team score. The momentum was short lived, however, as Roy Kalmanovich avenged his regular-season loss by coming back to defeat Jung in three sets, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 to make the score, 3-2. Jung held an early lead in the third set, 2-1, but Kalmanovich rallied to tie at 3-3, eventually going on to win the final three games for the match.

The Wolverines needed to win the final two matches in order to defeat the Fighting Illini. King faced elimination at the top spot against No. 14 Dennis Nevolo, losing the first set, 6-3, and falling behind 5-3 in the second. But like Bernstein, King mounted a comeback, winning the next four games to force a third set. King dominated Nevolo and completed the comeback, winning 3-6, 7-5, 6-1, to once again tie the match at 3-3.

A spot in the semifinals came down to No. 6 between Bruno Abdelnour and senior Chris Madden (Lotus, Calif./Ponderosa), with Abdelnour prevailing, 6-4, 6-3.

The Wolverines now await their selection for the NCAA Tournament, with the first round beginning on Friday, May 13, or Saturday, May 14. The NCAA Selection Show will be on Tuesday (May 3) at 5:30 p.m. and can be watched online at NCAA.com.

The following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- #21 Evan King (U-M) d. #14 Dennis Nevolo (ILL), 3-6, 7-5, 6-1
No. 2 -- Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) d. #52 Jason Jung (U-M), 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
No. 3 -- Shaun Bernstein (U-M) d. KU Singh (ILL), 7-5, 7-5
No. 4 -- #97 Johnny Hamui (ILL) d. Barrett Franks (U-M), 6-0, 7-5
No. 5 -- #79 Abe Souza (ILL) d. Justin Rossi (U-M), 6-3, 6-3
No. 6 -- Bruno Abdelnour (ILL) d. Chris Madden (U-M), 6-4, 6-3

No. 1 -- Jason Jung/Shaun Bernstein (U-M) d. Abe Souza/Stephen Hoh (ILL), 8-5
No. 2 -- Evan King/Barrett Franks (U-M) d. Dennis Nevolo/Brian Alden (ILL), 8-4
No. 3 -- Johnny Hamui/KU Singh (ILL) d. Chris Madden/Alex Buzzi (U-M), 8-1

Order of Completion: Doubles 3-2-1, Singles 4-5-3-2-1-6*
* Clinched match




• Friday's match was the 96th all-time meeting between the two schools. Michigan drops to 62-32-2 all-time against Illinois and has lost 19 of last 21 meetings. Michigan's last win was April 18, 2009, in Ann Arbor (4-3).

• Illinois beat Michigan, 5-2, in the regular-season matchup on April 16 in Ann Arbor. The two teams also met in the semifinals at last year's Big Ten Tournament in Bloomington, with Illinois winning, 4-0.

• Michigan is now 7-16 in doubles this season. Additionally, the Wolverines are 5-2 when they win the point and 8-8 when they lose it.

• With his doubles win, Jason Jung is now two wins away from tying the school record for career doubles wins (90). The record is held by three men, former Wolverines Brian Hung (2004-07), Matko Maravic (2005-08) and Mike Sroczynski (2007-10).

• With his win over Nevolo, Evan King is now 20-3 in dual matches, all at the No. 1 spot. He is 27-8 on the season and now 11-5 against ranked opponents. King also beat Nevolo in the regular-season matchup, 6-2, 6-1.

Jason Jung had his five-match win streak snapped in singles with his loss to Roy Kalmanovich. Jung beat Kalmanovich in the regular-season matchup, 6-3, 6-3.

Shaun Bernstein lost to Singh in the regular-season meeting, 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.

• The match was originally slated to start at 10 a.m. CDT but was delayed 30 minutes until 10:30. The match did not end until 3:10 p.m., lasting close to five hours.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423