Illinois Advances to Tenth Consecutive Big Ten Championship Final

April 30, 2005

CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS - The top seeded Illinois Fighting Illini will get a chance to play for a fourth consecutive Big Ten Men's Tennis Championship title on Sunday (May 1) after defeating Northwestern University 4-0 in the semifinals of the league championship here at the Atkins Tennis Center on the U of I campus on Saturday (April 30).


The win is Illinois 22nd on the season against only three loses and maintains the Illini's Big Ten winning streak - now at 51 matches dating back to 2001. A fifth seed in the tournament, Northwestern drops to .500 overall at 12-12.


Head coach Craig Tiley's squad would get on the scoreboard first by winning matches at number two and three doubles to earn the doubles point and jump out to a lead over the Wildcats. Chris Martin and Ryan Rowe wrapped up their match against Justin Hoeveler and Willy Lock first, winning by an 8-4 margin. Pramod Dabid and Ryler DeHeart clinched the doubles point for the Illini with an 8-6 victory over Christian Tempke and Adam Schaechterle.


A senior, Martin would be responsible for Illinois' second point after a he made quick work of Matt Christian - 6-0, 6-1 - at number five singles. Illinois' top player - Ryler DeHeart - would put the Illini within one point of advancing to the championship final. The eighth ranked player in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings defeated Wildcats senior Tommy Hanus at number one singles with a score of 6-4, 7-5 to put Illinois ahead 3-0 in the match.




Illini freshman Ruben Gonzales would notch his first Big Ten Conference championship victory at number four singles to give U of I the 4-0 sweep over NU. Gonzales defeated Willy Lock in two sets, 6-3,7-5 to seal Illinois' tenth consecutive appearance in the championship final.


Illinois will now await the winner of Saturday's second semifinal match up between second seeded Ohio State and third seeded Michigan. The winner will play Illinois at 12:00 p.m. central time for the 2005 Big Ten Conference Championship title. The Orange and Blue will be in search of their fourth consecutive Big Ten title and eighth in the last nine years. Illinois' last loss in Big Ten play was to Ohio State in the final of the 2001 championship at Wisconsin.  


Illinois 4, Northwestern 0


1) (ILL) GD Jones/Monte Tucker 5

    (NW) Tommy Hanus/Chuck Perrin 4 (DNF)

2) (ILL) Pramod Dabir/Ryler DeHeart 8

    (NW) Christian Tempke/Adam Schaechterle 6

3) (ILL) Chris Martin/Ryan Rowe 8

    (NW) Justin Hoeveler/Willy Lock 4

Order of finish: 3, 2



1) (ILL) #8 Ryler DeHeart 6 7

    (NW) #91 Tommy Hanus 4 5

2) (ILL) #24 GD Jones 7 4

    (NW) Christian Tempke 5 3 (DNF)

3) (ILL) Monte Tucker 6 3 4

    (NW) Chuck Perrin 4 6 3 (DNF)

4) (ILL) Ruben Gonzales 6 7

    (NW) Willy Lock 3 5

5) (ILL) Chris Martin 6 6

    (NW) Matt Christian 0 1

6) (ILL) Pramod Dabir 1 6

    (NW) Adam Schaechterle 6 4 (DNF)

Order of finish: 5, 1, 4