Huge Senior Day Win Over No. 20 Illinois
April 20, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana men's tennis (19-8, 6-4 Big Ten, No. 36) didn't allow weather and a change of venue mid-match derail them as they knocked off No. 20 Illinois for the biggest win of the season thus far. The Hoosiers beat the Illini 5 to 2 on Senior Day.
Indiana earned a victory over the Big Ten powerhouse for the second-straight year, tallying back-to-back wins over Illinois for the first time since the 1992 and 1993 seasons. Josh MacTaggart scored the biggest win of the match, knocking off No. 30 Roy Kalmanovich in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0.
Indiana head coach Randy Bloemendaal said a total team effort was important because when the match was forced to move indoors all momentum was lost.
"It was a total team effort, and that is what I'm most proud of," said Bloemendaal. "In singles, we just had a lot of guys step up. MacTaggart wins that match at number two, and we're winning pretty easily on a couple of other courts, and then we get moved indoors and we have to win this match twice. That shows a lot there. We just beat a really good team twice. They came roaring back indoors, which I new they would. The time off the court is a factor and the surface indoors played to their favor, so we showed a lot to win this one."
In doubles, the Illini struck first, winning at number one, but the Hoosiers rallied from early deficits at both two and three. Stephen Vogl and Will Kendall came up big on senior day, winning 8-6 at three. The momentum from the win at three carried over onto court two, where MacTaggart and Alastair Barnes rallied to win 9-8 (7-1).
Singles saw Illinois jump out to early leads on every court, but the Hoosiers crept back into it. MacTaggart was down 0-2 in the first set before figuring out Kalmanovich. He proceeded to win the next 12 games, taking it to the highly ranked player and putting IU up 2-0 on the scoreboard. The next match to finish saw Vogl fall to Tim Kopinski at four, by a score of 6-4, 6-3. And then, the rain set in.
With IU up a set at three and five and up 3-0 in each match, the match was moved indoors. Illinois took advantage of the stop in momentum and quickly got back into each match, but the seniors wouldn't let IU lose this one on senior day. Langer was able to hold off Bruno Abdelnour, winning 7-5, 6-4 at number three, and Kendall was able to clinch the match with a 7-5, 7-5 win at number five.
Up 4-1, the pressure was off, but Isade Juneau was unable to finish an impressive match against No. 7 Dennis Nevolo at one. Juneau fell 7-6, 2-6, 6-1, taking the second set from the top-10 player. Dimitrije Tasic closed out the match with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win at number six.
Next weekend, the Hoosiers pay a visit to Northwestern on Sunday, closing out the regular season. For complete coverage of all things IU men's tennis, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com.
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