OXFORD, MS - #22 Illinois defeated Clemson 4-0 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Kick-Off Weekend at the Gillom Sports Center in Oxford, MS.
Illinois improves to 1-0 this season, while Clemson falls to 3-1. Illinois is ranked 22nd in the latest ITA poll, while Clemson is ranked 25th.
Illinois will meet Michigan Sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern time in a match to decide who will advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Final 16 in Houston, Texas Feb. 14-17. Michigan was a 4-3 winner over Mississippi. Clemson and Mississippi will play in a consolation match at 10:00 a.m. EST on Sunday morning.
After winning the doubles point, the Illini won the top three matches in the singles lineup. Tim Kopinski defeated Clemson’s Alejandro Augusto 6-2, 6-3 at number-three singles. At number-one singles, fourth-ranked Jaren Hiltzik defefeated Hunter Harrington 6-0, 6-5 (8-6). Hiltzik is ranked fourth among collegiate players in the latest ITA singles poll.
Illinois claimed the match point when Farris Gosea defeated the Tigers’ Dominique Maden 6-2, 6-0 at number-two singles.
“We played a very talented and disciplined Illinois team,” said Clemson Head Coach Chuck McCuen. "We competed well after a slow start and was not able to capitalize on opportunities when presented.
"Illinois did a great job today crossing the T's and dotting the I's,” said McCuen. “As a young team, we can learn from how well they executed big points with first serves, returns, and discipline late into rallies.
"I was also impressed with the level of focus over the course of the match. What I learned today, is we have the talent to compete at this level if we are willing to learn from this match. I am looking forward to tomorrow's match and getting better," said McCuen.
#22 Illinois 4, #25 Clemson 0
1. #4 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. Hunter Harrington (CU) 6-0, 6-5 (8-6)
2. Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Dominique Maden (CU) 6-2, 6-0
3. Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Alejandro Augusto (CU) 6-2, 6-3
4. Brian Page (ILL) vs. Austin Ansari (CU) no result
5. Alex Jesse (ILL) vs. Luke Johnson (CU) no result
6. Blake Bazarnik (ILL) vs. Fernando Sala (CU) no result
1. #4 Tim Kopinski/Ross Guignon (ILL) vs. Hunter Harrington/Dominique Maden (CU) no result
2. Farris Gosea/Blake Bazarnik (ILL) def. #31 Alejandro Augusto/Robert Dudley (CU) 6-4
3. Jared Hiltzik/Alex Jesse (ILL) def. Daniel Strawn/Zachary Kennedy (CU) 6-0
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,1,2)