Men’s tennis confident heading into 2nd tournament

Doubt is an unfamiliar word to the Illinois men’s tennis team.

“As a team, we have all been working hard and playing well, there is no reason for not feeling confident,” senior Roy Kalmonovich said.

After going 10-6 in singles at the Olympia Fields Fighting Illini Invitational, the Illini are looking to continue its winning record this weekend at the “Virginia Ranked 1 Invitational”:http://www.virginiasports.com/SportSelect.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=17800&SPID=10610&SPSID=88817 in Charlottesville, Va.

Senior Dennis Nevolo, who will not be playing this weekend, went 4-0 at last weekend’s tournament and earned the Most Outstanding Player of the Olympia Invitational. He was also recently named Big Ten Athlete of the Week.

Kalmonovich did not play in the team’s first tournament, and is looking to start his season strong.

“I had a great summer, but I’m really looking forward to getting these first few matches under my belt,” said Kalmanovich, who went 16-10 in singles play and earned six Big Ten victories last year.

Entering his seventh year as head coach, Brad Dancer, continues to work with his players after a successful first weekend of tennis.

“From a competitor’s standpoint, the guys really fought hard last weekend and that’s all you can ask out of them,” Dancer said. “We, as a coaching staff, saw some things the players are doing well and some things that need improvement, but I was very pleased overall. We have had a lot of individual time with each player, really establishing what they need to be focused on the court.”

After a 2-2 start last weekend, junior Stephen Hoh is also looking to improve his game.

“My first match last weekend I played really strong and did everything well, but the next match I just didn’t stick to my game plan,” Hoh said. “I’ve been working hard this week to improve my focus for this weekend so I can start strong and stay strong.”