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NCAA Feature
Badgers stop Illini's NCAA Run

With the exception of 2006, when they weren't allowed to host because of the controversy of the "chief" logo, the Fighting Illini men have hosted the first rounds of the NCAA Championships a dozen years. This year, however, the results were very different than they had been for the vast majority of those events.

The Illini prepare to play indoors
© Marcia Frost, Big 10 Tennis Examiner
Round one began on Friday with No. 27 ranked Wisconsin up against No. 39 Notre Dame. As expected, it was a competitive match with the doubles point coming down to Court 2, where Patrick Pohlmann and Michael Dierberger put the Badgers on the board with an 8-4 victory over Tyler Davis and Niall Fitzgerald. It was far from the end for the Fighting Irish, and they came out swinging in singles, taking an even share of the first sets. Moritz Baumann would make it 2-0 with a 6-1,6-3 win over Casey Watt, but Notre Dame's Blas Moros posted one for the Irish as he took out Michael Dierberger, 6-4,6-4. The rest of the matches would go three sets, with one to each team before Billy Bertha clinched Wisconsin's victory at No. 5 with a 3-6,6-3,6-2 defeat of David Anderson for a final 4-2 score.

The 13th-seeded Fighting Illini began their doubles match with unranked Xavier while the first match was still in progress, taking their contingent of spectators with them. The doubles point started completely in the home team's favor, but Xavier quickly shot back and regained some breaks. Dennis Nevolo and Johnny Hamui would still take a quick 8-1 over Anthony Palmenter and Brian Starr, but there were some good points on the remaining courts before Illini Connor Roth and Stephen Hoh finished it, leaving the final court abandoned at 8-7. The singles matches between Illinois and Xavier were uneventful - with the exception of a great battle between Xavier's Bobby Dye and Hamui that would never make it past 4-4 in the first set. The entry into the second round came for Illinois with a shutout.

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Page updated on Wednesday, August 10, 2016
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