Illinois men‘s tennis goes 1-1 in final 2 regular season games, finishes with 18-10 overall record


Eric Chiang

Junior Hunter Heck goes against Jason Hildebrandt in a tennis singles match on Apr. 14.

By Martin O'Connor, Staff Writer

Illinois men’s tennis has finished their spring regular season by going 1-1 in their last two games against Michigan State and University of Michigan. These last two away games started on a strong note with an impressive 6-1 win over Michigan State; however, the momentum didn’t carry over against Michigan as the team lost 6-1.

The team’s first game in Michigan took place in East Lansing against Michigan State, a matchup that Illinois dominated. Starting with doubles matches, the Illini got off on a hot streak with No. 36 duo Hunter Heck and Karlis Ozolins beating Ozan Baris and Anthony Pero 6-4. Then No. 55 duo Mathis Debru and Oliver Okonkwo defeated Reed Crocker and Kazuki Matsuno 7-6 (11-9). Kenta Miyoshi and Gabrielius Guzauskas lost their match 6-3 to Graydon Lair and Max Sheldon.

The action carried on with singles matches, where the team picked up five wins out of six matches. No. 48 Ozolins, No. 90 Alex Petrov, Heck, Okonkwo and Miyoshi all won their singles matchup, with graduate student Nic Meister suffering the lone loss. It was a successful outing for Illinois, but they still had a tough challenge awaiting them with No. 7 Michigan.

The Wolverines dismantled the Illini squad in Ann Arbor, with Ozolins’ singles match win being the only win the team enjoyed. Doubles matches did not work out, as all three duos faced defeat against Michigan. William Mroz, Heck, Petrov, Okonkwo and Miyoshi all suffered defeats in their singles matchups, with Ozolins’ 6-3, 7-5 win being the only win of the day.

These final games demonstrate how this season has been very hit or miss for the Illini, but they will look to be at their very best going into the Big Ten tournament. Having already played away in Bloomington, Indiana, where the tournament will be held, the team can use that valuable experience against their opponents.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
Thank you for subscribing!

Illinois is the No. 4 seed, which gives them a bye and means they start on Thursday at 11 a.m. against No. 5 seed Nebraska.


[email protected]