Men’s tennis achieves victories at Texas A&M Conference Challenge

The Illinois men’s tennis team turned out exciting finishes in the Texas A&M Conference Challenge in College Station, Texas.

On the doubles side of play, the Illini finished 7-5 with the No. 10 junior duo Ross Guignon and Tim Kopinski making the biggest impression. The Illini tandem fell short 8-7 (7) in a tiebreaker against No. 3 pair Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow from Texas A&M. The duo rebounded with an 8-5 over win over Harvard’s Brian Yeung and Nicky Hu, but would end the weekend with an 8-7 (4) loss to Harvard’s No. 20 pair of Denis Nguyen and Casey MacMasters on Saturday.

The Illini’s other doubles pairs, sophomores Julian Childers and Brian Page and juniors Farris Gosea and Blake Bazarnik, each finished 2-1 on the weekend.

Illinois broke even in singles on the week at 8-8 after finishing 5-3 on Friday and 3-5 on Saturday.

No. 17 Jared Hiltzik and No 121. Kopinski each finished 1-1, with Hiltzik picking up a ranked victory over No. 67 Harrison Adams of Texas A&M on Day One before falling in three sets to Nguyen 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 on day two. Kopinski also earned a day-off victory; however, he fell in two sets to No. 11 Jeremy Efferding 6-0, 6-3.

Meanwhile, Gosea and Guignon return from the weekend with 2-0 records. Gosea made the biggest splash with a three-set, ranked victory over No. 78 Ore, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1.

“It was a great start to the weekend with some incredibly exciting finishes to matches,” Illinois head coach Brad Dancer said. “A&M and Harvard both played some high-level tennis and pushed each one of our guys. It was disappointing that we didn’t get to finish some of the last rounds of singles as there were some compelling matches underway.”

The Illini return home to a short week of practice before hitting the road again for the ITA Midwest Regionals hosted by Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio.