Men’s tennis’ Asse promoted to associate head coach

In the midst of preparing for this weekend’s ITA Midwest Regional, Illini men’s tennis assistant coach Marcos Asse was promoted to associate head coach.

“I’ve always put everything I have into coaching the players, not much is going to change there,” Asse said. “Forehands are still forehands and backhands are still backhands on the tennis court.”

Asse has been with the Illini as assistant coach for two years.

Before coming to Illinois, he was assistant coach and associate head coach at the College of William and Mary, where he coached the Tribe to two NCAA tournament appearances in 2005 and 2007 and three consecutive 16-win seasons.

“At a place like Illinois, one of the top programs in the country, the responsibility is more than just an ordinary team,” Asse said. “Being able to decide what’s best for the guys in terms of responsibility and the ability for Brad (Dancer) and I to interchange positions is key.”

The Orange and Blue travel to Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday to qualify for the Nov. 3 National Indoor Championships. Seniors Dennis Nevolo and Roy Kalmanovich have already qualified with their performances at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., last weekend. Players looking for a chance to qualify include juniors Stephen Hoh and Bruno Abdelnour, along with freshmen Ross Guignon and Tim Kopinski.

“Ross is no stranger to competition, he takes practices almost like matches,” Asse said. “While other guys need to get pumped up and need that competitive culture, Ross puts himself in that position every day. He really wants to show off those Illini colors this weekend. Tim also has that competitive fire, we’ve been working a bit on his decision-making, but physically he can go toe-to-toe against anyone.”

Hoh took on three ranked opponents in three matches last week in singles, losing twice but picking up a win over No. 30-ranked Enej Bonin of Denver. Abdelnour and Hoh earned their first doubles victory two weeks ago at the Virginia Ranked 1 Invitational.

“Stephen continues to make great progress and overall has been great with his composure and competitiveness,” Dancer said. “But we have been working greatly with the serve and return. Bruno has improved on his serve and control of his forehand as well. … We have been working hard. Day in, day out.”