Men's tennis bounces back at national indoor
HOUSTON — Illinois’ men’s tennis team bounced back Saturday at the ITA National Indoor Championships, defeating Pepperdine 4-0 in the consolation bracket.
The 22nd-ranked and 10th-seeded Illini were led by Brian Page, Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon.
“(Saturday) our guys showed how much they love this game,” UI coach Brad Dancer said. “(Friday) was a punch in the gut in terms of how bad it hurt our team. I made a coaching mistake that probably cost us the match, so it was going to be interesting to see how the guys responded. In addition, Pepperdine is here playing with house money, so we felt pressure.”
Page and partner Julian Childers clinched the doubles point with a 6-5 (6) victory at No. 3.
Kopinski and Guignon won their No. 1 doubles match 6-2.
In men’s golf:
Squad takes seventh. Coach Mike Small’s squad topped fifth-seeded Ohio State 2-2-1 in the seventh-place match at the Big Ten Match Play Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
The Illini were declared winners of their last match because they won nine holes compared with seven for the Buckeyes.
Earlier Saturday, Illinois lost 2-1-2 against Minnesota.
“It was a tough weekend,” Small said. “We didn’t have our best. At certain times, guys played well, but overall it was a sporadic tournament. But we’re in the first inning of the season, to compare it to a baseball game. This is just starting out, and there are things that we’re going to correct and move on.”
Eighth-seeded Michigan won the tournament, defeating Purdue in a playoff in the championship match.
DiBernardo, Peterson show way. Senior Vanessa DiBernardo and sophomore Taylore Peterson shared team MVP honors, which were announced Saturday at the team banquet.
Jannelle Flaws was named Offensive MVP, and Aliina Weykamp was selected Defensive MVP.
Hartleb’s squad rallies. Ryan Nagle went 4 for 5 with three runs and four RBI, leading Illinois to a 19-13 victory against Georgia State in Atlanta.
Will Krug was 4 for 6 with three runs, two RBI and three stolen bases for the Illini, who fell behind 5-0 in the first inning.
“We faced early adversity, but I was proud that we hung in there and our offense continued to battle,” UI coach Dan Hartleb said.
In men’s gymnastics:
Maestas shines in defeat. Illinois’ C.J. Maestas won the all-around, but the fifth-ranked Illini lost 436.050-431.150 to seventh-ranked Penn State in State College, Pa.
“This result was completely unexpected with the way we’ve been building in practice,” UI coach Justin Spring said. “We are a better team than this but didn’t show it (Saturday).”
Illinois’ Chandler Eggleston (15.550) was victorious in floor exercise, and teammate Matt Foster (14.800) won in pommel horse.
Maestas (15.300) claimed his fifth rings title.
In women’s gymnastics:
Moving up charts. Sunny Kato placed first in uneven bars, tying her career high at 9.900, but the Illini lost 196.675-196.500 to the host Nittany Lions.
The Illini tied the sixth-best score in school history.
Sophomore Giana O’Connor won her first collegiate floor title, tying her career high of 9.9.
In men’s track & field:
Joseph places second. Illinois’ Vanier Joseph (7.85 seconds) was second in
the 60-meter hurdles at the Spire Invitational in Geneva, Ohio.