Weekend recap: men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s golf

Illinois++Aron+Hiltzik+strikes+back+the+ball+in+the+meet+against+University+of+Kentucky+on+Feb.+24+at+the+Atkins+Tennis+Center+in+Urbana.

Brian Bauer

Illinois’ Aron Hiltzik strikes back the ball in the meet against University of Kentucky on Feb. 24 at the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana.

By Cole Henke

Men’s tennis

Freshman Caleb Chakravarthi started off his career for the Illinois men’s tennis team on the right foot. As the No. 2 seed, he won the second singles flight. He was the only singles winner for the Illini.

Chakravarthi also won his doubles flight. He and sophomore Vuk Budic won the second doubles flight with an 8-3 win over Andy Martinez and Alex Phillips out of Georgia.

Meanwhile, senior Aron Hiltzik had a rough weekend, going 0-4 the first two days. In their first action of the fall season, Hiltzik, who is ranked No. 31 in the country, fell to the No. 102 ranked player Jan Zielinski from Georgia, 6-4, 1-6, 11-9. Zielinski swept the rest of the weekend, beating a total of three ranked opponents.

That wasn’t the only singles match that slipped away from the Illini in a third set tiebreaker. Sophomore Aleks Kovacevic, who sat at No. 80 in the preseason rankings, dropped his match to No. 73 Jackie Tang out of Columbia University.

Hiltzik and Kovacevic went 0-2 as a doubles team over the weekend, losing to both Georgia and Columbia in the No. 1 doubles draw.

Budic lost his first singles match of the weekend, but came back on Saturday and won his second match over Eduardo Roldan of Texas Christian University.

Men’s golf

The Illinois men’s golf team opened up its fall slate of play this weekend, placing fifth at the Olympia Field Country Club/Fighting Illini Invitational.

In Friday’s first round, Illinois shot 3-over par as a team and came into the clubhouse in sixth place.

Senior Nick Hardy shot 4-under in the first round, good enough to be tied for second heading into the second day of play. Behind Hardy, sophomore Giovanni Tadiotto shot 2-under to finish the first round in the top 10 while competing as an individual.

In the second round on Saturday, Hardy led the team once again, shooting 2-under to stay tied for second place. Tadiotto followed not far behind in a tie for eighth place after shooting 1-under on the day, while Michael Feagles and Dylan Meyer each hovered close to 20th place. The rest of the team sat in the middle of the pack.

The team shot 6-over in the final round on Sunday, finishing one point behind Baylor in fifth place while shooting 13-over for the event as a team.

Hardy took second overall in the tournament, going 1-under in the final round to finish at 7-under.

He was joined in the top 20 by sophomore Michael Feagles, who went even on the day to tie for 15th place. Senior Dylan Meyer followed, tying for 30th place overall. The Evansville, Indiana, native shot 5-over in Sunday’s round to finish at 8-over on the tournament.

Tadiotto ended up tied for 39th after shooting 10-over in the final round of play, and in his first official collegiate competition, freshman Brendan O’Reilly took 52nd place. He went 2-over in the last round to finish at 12-over for the event.

Sophomore Bryan Baumgarten and freshman Varun Chopra, who competed as an individual, brought up the rear for the Illini, finishing in a tie for 53rd and a tie for 76th with overall scores of 13-over and 26-over, respectively.

Women’s tennis

This weekend the Illinois women’s tennis team split.

About half of the team went to the Duke Invite in Durham, North Carolina, while the rest traveled to Midland, Texas, for the Midland Invite.

Competition for both invites began on Friday. Freshmen Asuka Kawai and Mia Rabinowitz and juniors Jaclyn Switkes and Daniela Pedraza Novak competed in the Duke Invite.

The doubles team, Pedraza Novak and Kawai, fell 8-4 to Duke’s Kaitlyn McCarthy and Ellyse Hamlin but came together to defeat Brooke Austin and Peggy Porter of Florida

However, the Illini came back when Switkes and Rabinowitz were victorious over Furman freshman Katarina Kozarov and junior Aryn Greene.

Across the country, freshmen Emilee Duong and Sasha Belaya with seniors Jade Hilton and Grace Tapak battled it out. The Illini lost the majority of their matches in day one, Hilton was the only victor of the day defeating Abilene Christian University and Texas Tech.

On day two, the doubles team was more successful. Duong and Tapak beat Texas Tech and Arkansas 6-1 and 6-2, respectively. Hilton also won one of her two matches.

Back in North Carolina Pedraza Novak dominated winning her doubles match alongside Kawai and beating out Kozarov in three sets (4-6, 6-2, 7-5).

Doubles team Duong and Tapak were the only ones to compete in the final day of competition for the Midland Invite and fell to Arkansas.