URBANA — The No. 25 Illinois men’s tennis team handed No. 5 Duke its first loss of the season, 4-3, Friday night at Atkins Tennis Center.
The dual meet came down to No. 2 singles, with Illini freshman Jared Hiltzik outbattling Fred Saba 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3.
After Duke (5-1) captured the doubles points, Illinois (3-2) won a pair of singles matches to take a 2-1 lead. Tim Kopinski and Bruno Abdelnour prevailed at No. 3 and No. 4.
But the Blue Devils battled back to take a 3-2 lead and move within one victory of ending it. Ross Guignon kept Illinois alive with a win at No. 6 singles before Hiltzik came through in a winner-take-all showdown.
Ohio State handles Illini. The No. 6 Illini fell to 2-3 in the Big Ten with a 25-9 loss to No. 5 Ohio State at Oak Harbor, Ohio.
Jesse Delgado, fourth-ranked at 125 pounds, and Conrad Polz, seventh-ranked at 165, each remained undefeated in Big Ten matches for Illinois.
Delgado rolled to an 8-1 win against No. 12 Nikko Triggas. Polz scored a 2-0 shutout.
Tony Dallago, 16th-ranked at 184, accounted for the Illini’s other victory with a 2-1 decision.
Illinois (6-3) returns to action at 1 p.m. Sunday against No. 1 Penn State at Huff Hall.
In women’s gymnastics:
Illini fall at Nebraska. No. 7 Nebraska won all four individual events plus the all-around to hand the No. 19 Illini a 195.750-194.750 setback at Lincoln, Neb.
Alina Weinstein of Illinois scored a 9.90 in vault and 9.80s in uneven parallel bars and balance beam. Giana O’Connor was the UI’s top scorer in floor exercise with a 9.775. As a team, Illinois won one event, capturing the uneven parallel bars 48.775-48.675.