EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's tennis team suffered a 7-0 setback to #28 Illinois on Sunday, April 16. At the conclusion of the weekend Michigan State fell to 10-15 on the season and 0-9 in Big Ten Conference play, while Illinois improved to 14-9 and 7-2 in conference action.
"It was a tough match today," said head coach Gene Orlando. "We gave it our best and our best wasn't good enough. Back to work and continue to grow, improve and make our own break through."
Illinois took the doubles point winning all three matches. Freshman Doug Francken and junior Jasper Koenen fell to Aleks Kovacevic and Zeke Clark at No. 3 doubles 6-2 and junior Michael Dube and sophomore Colin Harvey dropped their match at No. 1 doubles 6-3. Junior Brett Forman and sophomore Billy Shisler finished right behind the No. 1 doubles game and fell in their match 6-4 to Alex Jesse and Aleks Vukic.
The Spartans were unable to gather a point in singles action but Koenen pushed a third set at No. 3 singles. He fell 6-4 in the first set and answered with a 6-4 win in the second set but went on to fall 1-0 (10-6) in the tiebreaker.
Shisler was the first to fall at No. 5 singles to Zeke Clark 6-3, 6-0 and Rakic fell at No. 4 singles 6-0, 6-2 to Noe Khlif. Sophomore Alexander Kim dropped his decision 6-1, 6-4 at No. 6 singles and Dube dropped 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.
Forman faced his fifth consecutive ranked opponent at No. 1 singles. He went on to fall 6-3, 6-1 to #31 Aaron Hiltzik.
Michigan State will be back in action next weekend to round out the regular season action. The Spartans will play Nebraska on the road at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 21. MSU will then pick up for two matches on Sunday, April 23 against Iowa and UIC.