Four Big Ten Squads Survive First Round of NCAA Championships

Dennis Nevolo and the Illini will advance to the Saturday's second round of the NCAA Championships.

May 8, 2009

The 2009 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships are underway as four Big Ten squads look to advance to Saturday's second round.

No. 35 Michigan was the first Big Ten squad to advance in the bracket with a 4-1 upset over No. 29-ranked Notre Dame on Friday morning at the Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center. With the win, the Wolverines avenged their 5-2 loss to the Fighting Irish earlier in the season and secured their third consecutive trip to the second round of the national tournament while improving to 14-14 overall.

Later in the afternoon, the No. 3-seed Ohio State men’s tennis team defeated Xavier, 4-0, to advance to the second round where they face Michigan at noon on Saturday. The two Big Ten foes will vie for a chance to move on to the Round of 16 in College Station, Texas, hosted by Texas A&M University, May 14-19. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 32-1 overall, upping their win streak to 24 consecutive matches while shutting out 17 of its last 24 opponents.

No. 13-seed Illinois downed Western Michigan, 4-0, at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex and will move forward to face Louisville in the second round on Saturday at 4 p.m. With the win, the Illini improve to 22-8. Illinois has advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament since 1999, when the tournament opened to a 64-team field.

Minnesota cruised past New Mexico, 4-0, to open first round competition in Los Angeles. The win marks the first NCAA postseason match for the Gophers since beating LSU in 2006. Minnesota is now 19-7 overall and will look to compete against either eighth-seeded Southern California or UC-Santa Barbara on Saturday at USC’s Marks Stadium.

Wisconsin saw its season come to a close in a nail biting 4-3 loss to No. 21 Louisville in the NCAA opening round in Urbana, Ill. For the first time in three years, the Badgers will not advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships. After rain forced the match indoors, the No. 32-ranked Badgers started strong by winning the doubles point, but it would not prove enough as the final decision came down to the third set of the last match. Wisconsin finishes the season 16-11.

No. 42 Northwestern dropped its first round match to No. 18 Wake Forest at the University of Kentucky’s Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. The Demon Deacons won at the top three singles spots and escaped a narrow doubles point to take the 4-0 victory. The Wildcats complete the season with an 18-9 overall record.

First Round Results:
No. 35 MICHIGAN def. No. 29 Notre Dame, 4-1
No. 21 Louisville def. No. 32 WISCONSIN, 4-3
No. 18 Wake Forest def. No. 42 NORTHWESTERN, 4-0
No. 3 OHIO STATE def. Xavier, 4-0
No. 13 ILLINOIS def. Western Michigan, 4-0
No. 33 MINNESOTA def. No. 41 New Mexico, 4-0