Two Illini tennis players advance in NCAA men’s singles bracket

Freshman Dennis Nevolo and sophomore Roy Kalmanovich advanced to the NCAA Championships singles bracket Round of 32 on Wednesday with straight-set wins.

On the heels of a third-round NCAA Team Championships exit, two Illini players are still alive in the singles bracket of the Championships, while one doubles tandem is set to begin first-round play.

Nevolo, ranked No. 39, topped No. 55 Yoann Re of Virginia Tech, 6-3, 6-0.

Kalmanovich, ranked No. 50, pulled off the upset with a 6-2, 6-1 trouncing of No. 24 Clancy Shields of Boise State.

Kalmanovich will have a tough task Thursday, when he will face Arnau Brugues of Tulsa, the top-seeded player in the tournament.

Nevolo will face Georgia’s Nate Schnugg, who is seeded in the No. 9-16 range.

Both matches will be played at 10 a.m. Video streams and live scoring updates can be found on www.aggieathletics.com

The two Illini singles players will fight for the right to advance to the Round of 16 on Thursday. The players who advance to the NCAA Championships Round of 16 earn All-American honors. The last Illinois player to be named an All-American was Kevin Anderson in 2007.

In the doubles field, the No. 21-ranked duo of Nevolo and fellow freshman Ruan Roelofse will open Championships play against No. 10-ranked Tim Puetz and Alexey Tsyrenov of Auburn on Thursday.