FLUSHING, N.Y. — Amer Delic was the first Illinois men’s tennis player to reach the ITA National Indoor Championship final in 2002.
Ryler DeHeart (2004), Ryan Rowe (2007) and Dennis Nevolo followed.
You can add Jared Hiltzik to the list.
Hiltzik defeated USC’s Ray Sarmiento 6-2, 7-5 (5) in the semifinals Saturday.
“Jared showed (Saturday) why he deserves to be in the finals,” UI associate head coach Marcos Asse said. “He’s taken this tournament one match at a time and one point at a time. He was down big in the second set, a few set points, and battled back.”
Hiltzik will play UCLA’s Clay Thompson today in the final.
“I’ve watch Jared grow some as a competitor this tournament. Hopefully Jared can keep the same attitude he’s had and continue to improve throughout the match (today). Clay Thompson is a fiery competitor, and he’s been playing very well lately. It should be a great final.”
The Illini doubles team of Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 against Tennessee’s Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese.
Strong start. Nine Illini wrestlers, including redshirt senior Tony Dallago (174 pounds), finished first at the Loras Open in Dubuque, Iowa.
In swimming & diving:
Records fall. The 400 medley relay of Alison Meng, Erica Lynn, Sarah Sykstus and Courtney Pope set a pool record in 3 minutes, 49.94 seconds, leading the Illini to a 186-114 victory against Kansas at the ARC Pool.
The 200 freestyle relay of Pope, Meng, Jessica Holz and Megan Marchuk set a pool record in 1:34.81.
Meng was clocked in 55.79 seconds to set the pool mark in the 100 backstroke.
“Being able to break three pool records, that was one of our season goals coming in,” Illinois coach Sue Novitsky said.