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2017 Illini Tennis

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Old Jan 28, 2017, 02:27 PM   #1
WesterveltVictoryCigar
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First dual match of the season today, Illini beat Arkansas 4-2 in the ITA kickoff in Norman OK. Illini will play the winner of Oklahoma/Michigan tomorrow for the right to play in the ITA Indoor Nationals. Illini had 4 freshman in the lineup, so a nice win although Arkansas was missing their best player.
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Old Jan 30, 2017, 09:45 AM   #2
WesterveltVictoryCigar
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Illini were crushed by OU, 4-0. In those 4 matches, Illini won a total of 12 games. Could be a tough year playing a bunch of frosh and our usual terrible doubles. Not only has Northwestern passed us up in football and basketball, they are now ahead in tennis as well. Might be a few other B1G teams moving past us this year as well.

Some better news, Illinois has the 4th best class for 2017 coming in next year. So things should get better as the current frosh class is also very good.
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Old Jan 30, 2017, 12:06 PM   #3
LurkLongandProsper
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Illini were crushed by OU, 4-0. In those 4 matches, Illini won a total of 12 games. Could be a tough year playing a bunch of frosh and our usual terrible doubles. Not only has Northwestern passed us up in football and basketball, they are now ahead in tennis as well. Might be a few other B1G teams moving past us this year as well.

Some better news, Illinois has the 4th best class for 2017 coming in next year. So things should get better as the current frosh class is also very good.
We have a pretty solid roster this year, but will certainly have some limitations with freshmen woes. The major issue is finding a way to win some doubles matches, 0-2 to start the season, continuing a pretty bad trend for us in doubles. Really hurts us.
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Old Jan 30, 2017, 12:46 PM   #4
WesterveltVictoryCigar
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We have a pretty solid roster this year, but will certainly have some limitations with freshmen woes. The major issue is finding a way to win some doubles matches, 0-2 to start the season, continuing a pretty bad trend for us in doubles. Really hurts us.
I think we have better depth in singles this year, not as strong at the top end. It's really tough to beat the better teams when you have to win 4 of the singles matches every time.
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Old Jan 30, 2017, 12:49 PM   #5
LurkLongandProsper
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I think we have better depth in singles this year, not as strong at the top end. It's really tough to beat the better teams when you have to win 4 of the singles matches every time.
Well yeah, we won't match the '14 (?) squad with Gosea, Jared, TK, Aron, and Vukic 1-5 in terms of singles talent this season, but this singles lineup is much deeper than last year. Certainly no simple task to replace Jared though.

We really, really need to find a way to start winning doubles consistently though.
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Old Jan 30, 2017, 01:23 PM   #6
WesterveltVictoryCigar
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We really, really need to find a way to start winning doubles consistently though.
Ross Guignon is on the staff now as a volunteer coach, hopefully he can help there as he was a heck of a doubles player at UI.
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Old Jan 30, 2017, 01:29 PM   #7
LurkLongandProsper
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Ross Guignon is on the staff now as a volunteer coach, hopefully he can help there as he was a heck of a doubles player at UI.
Yep -- hopefully Alex Jesse can become the specialist Ross was in his time, but that has yet to happen
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Old Feb 3, 2017, 08:39 PM   #8
LurkLongandProsper
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Tennis in a barn burner with Duke. Another match where we could've easily won this had we won doubles, but weren't even close.
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Old Feb 3, 2017, 09:27 PM   #9
LurkLongandProsper
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Despite dropping doubles, Illinois beats a solid Duke squad with singles wins on 1, 2, 3, and 5. Gui Gomes, freshman, just put on a hell of a 3rd set performance to win. Went down 0-2, tied it, got broke at 4-4, tied it, and won 7-5. Heck of a match. Go Illini.
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Old Feb 3, 2017, 10:34 PM   #10
ilphotog
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Quote:
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Despite dropping doubles, Illinois beats a solid Duke squad with singles wins on 1, 2, 3, and 5. Gui Gomes, freshman, just put on a hell of a 3rd set performance to win. Went down 0-2, tied it, got broke at 4-4, tied it, and won 7-5. Heck of a match. Go Illini.
That match was draining! But awesome.
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 08:07 AM   #11
WesterveltVictoryCigar
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Having Childers back is big. Much tougher challenge vs UNC tonight. Gomes is better than expected, thought Clark would be the freshman playing that high in the lineup. I know he had been injured, so may still be getting back into playing shape.
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 01:33 PM   #12
LurkLongandProsper
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Having Childers back is big. Much tougher challenge vs UNC tonight. Gomes is better than expected, thought Clark would be the freshman playing that high in the lineup. I know he had been injured, so may still be getting back into playing shape.
I'm stuck watching from the east coast, but yeah, I really was impressed watching Gui on the live stream (high quality stream, nice work Tennis/Athletics Staff!). It's unfortunate we don't have Hirsch right now, he was solid last year and would provide some really nice depth, as well as not having Peng who is hurt. If Zeke Clark can get healthy and we get everyone available, this team is in business, ESPECIALLY if we can win some doubles.

I like Julian, but he's reaaaaally inconsistent. Big win for him last night though.
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 06:36 PM   #13
LurkLongandProsper
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Playing #7 UNC now, already lost doubles (lost on 1 and 2, 3 was in progress). Uphill battle from here now, extra glad we eeked out the win last night.

Singles lineup changed from last night.

Vukic on 1
Hiltzik on 2
Gui on 3
Julian on 4
Kovacevic on 5
Khlif on 6

(Swapped Julian and Kov on 4/5, replaced Zeke on 6 with Khlif)

Last edited by LurkLongandProsper; Feb 4, 2017 at 06:41 PM.
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 06:45 PM   #14
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Correction, scoring just updated, appears Zeke is still on 6
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 07:29 PM   #15
WesterveltVictoryCigar
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Looking pretty good, strong start in singles. Childers @ #4 is what I expected the lineup to be, but thought Clark would be #3, not Gomes, who is turning out to be a real revelation.
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 07:30 PM   #16
LurkLongandProsper
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Looking pretty good, strong start in singles.
Potential to win all 6 singles first sets (knock on wood), heck of a start. Really wish I was still in the area, would be sitting court 3 to watch Vuk/Gui/Kovacevic every match.
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 08:26 PM   #17
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Beloved falls 4-2, losing on 4/5/6 in singles. Illinois took 1 and 3, and was 2-2 in 3rd set on 2.
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Old Feb 5, 2017, 09:00 AM   #18
WesterveltVictoryCigar
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They played out the last match so it ended up 5-2. Classic Childers, was up 4-0 in the first set tiebreaker then just went into the tank. I think we lost leads in sets at both 5 & 6 as well, so that was the difference. Still a decent showing against a top 10 team.
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Old Feb 5, 2017, 03:50 PM   #19
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They played out the last match so it ended up 5-2. Classic Childers, was up 4-0 in the first set tiebreaker then just went into the tank. I think we lost leads in sets at both 5 & 6 as well, so that was the difference. Still a decent showing against a top 10 team.
Yeah, Kovacevic and Zeke will have some inexperience losses this year, showed up yesterday. Really wish we had Hirsch.
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Old Feb 11, 2017, 03:57 PM   #20
WesterveltVictoryCigar
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Once again lost doubles but did beat IU 5-2.
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Old Feb 11, 2017, 08:08 PM   #21
LurkLongandProsper
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Once again lost doubles but did beat IU 5-2.
That first singles set across the board was pretty crazy
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Old Feb 12, 2017, 10:08 AM   #22
WesterveltVictoryCigar
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Illini vs ND today, you can watch here.
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Old Feb 12, 2017, 01:38 PM   #23
WesterveltVictoryCigar
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Same formula, not competitive in doubles, Vuki and Aron dominate at 1/2, get a couple 3rd set wins to take the match. Next up is a double header with Bill&Mary and then #1 UVa. That second match will probably be ugly.

I watched a little of Kovacevic's match, good looking young player. Great ground stroke game, this team should be pretty good the next few years. Could be great if they can figure out some doubles pairings.
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Old Feb 12, 2017, 02:58 PM   #24
LurkLongandProsper
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Same formula, not competitive in doubles, Vuki and Aron dominate at 1/2, get a couple 3rd set wins to take the match. Next up is a double header with Bill&Mary and then #1 UVa. That second match will probably be ugly.

I watched a little of Kovacevic's match, good looking young player. Great ground stroke game, this team should be pretty good the next few years. Could be great if they can figure out some doubles pairings.
I'm a big fan of Gui, really aggressive player.
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Old Feb 13, 2017, 12:31 PM   #25
Tygor
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Losing the doubles point every match is really starting to get old. Needing to win 4 of 6 singles matches with a young group is asking a bunch.
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