May 23, 2004
Illini Still Perfect
With a 4-0 win over Vanderbilt Sunday night, Illinois extended its dual match winning streak to 64, and advanced into its second straight national semifinal. This is the second victory for the Illini over Vandy in the NCAA tournament, as the team beat the Commodores last year for the national championship.
"That's a very good Vanderbilt team," said head coach Craig Tiley. "To beat Georgia and Mississippi, whom I think are two of the very best teams in the country, they're good; and to be in the final eight, and for us to play the way I expect us to play--we did an awesome job tonight."
The senior duo of Brian Wilson and Phil Stolt secured the doubles point for Illinois, defeating Chad Harris and Scott Brown, 9-8, on court one. The tie-break victory, coupled with a win by GD Jones and Ryler DeHeart at third doubles, propelled the Illini to the early lead. DeHeart and Jones are 18-1 on the year. Illinois' No. 2 team of Chris Martin and Michael Calkins lost their match to Vanderbilt's Lewis Smith and Zach Dailey, 8-3.
After doubles play, the tournament was suspended for two hours due to rain and the match was moved indoors.
In singles play, Wilson extended the Illinois lead to 2-0 by defeating Chad Harris, 7-66-3, on court one. The Illini then rattled off two more singles victories, including wins by Jones and Calkins at Nos. 6, and 4, respectively.
Illinois will face UCLA in the semifinal, Monday at 5 p.m. CDT. The Illini beat UCLA back in February, 4-0, to claim the national indoor championship.
Ohio State Falls to Baylor in NCAA Tournament
Playing in its first NCAA quarterfinal in program history, Ohio State was defeated by third seed Baylor, 4-0, Sunday afternoon in Tulsa, Okla. The Buckeyes end their season 26-5 overall.
Baylor clinched the doubles point after victories at first and third doubles. The 25th ranked duo of senior Jeremy Wurtzman and freshman Joey Atas will remain in Tulsa, however, to compete in the doubles portion of the national tournament, which begins May 26th.
The Bears closed out the match by recording three straight singles victories at first, fifth, and sixth singles. Wurtzman, playing at No. 1, had his 11-game winning streak broken by Benedikt Dorsch, the second ranked singles player in the country, 6-3, 6-4. Wurtzman will have another chance to extend his Buckeye career, as the senior will represent Ohio State as the third seed in next week's NCAA singles tournament.