Men’s tennis bound for third round of NCAA tournament

By Kathleen Foody

A slow start failed to derail the men’s tennis team against LSU on Saturday, as host Illinois advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament with a 4-2 victory.

The Illini took advantage of solid play from their top singles courts and ground out a tough come-from-behind win at Atkins Tennis Center.

Mere seconds separated LSU victories in two of the three doubles matches, putting the Illini in an early hole. Quick singles wins by junior Marc Spicijaric and freshman Roy Kalmanovich jumpstarted the Illini comeback, which culminated in sophomore Billy Heiser’s 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 clinching win on court No. 4.

The Illini will travel to Tulsa, Okla., next Friday to meet the winner of Ohio State and East Tennessee State’s second round match up. The Buckeyes have already claimed two victories over the Illini this season, the most recent coming in the finals of the Big Ten Tournament.