Fighting Illini Eliminated From NCAA Tournament

The Big Ten Champion No. 5 Fighting Illini suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of No. 18 Florida State in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Tournament in College Station, Texas.

The Big Ten Champion No. 5 Fighting Illini suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of No. 18 Florida State in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Tournament in College Station, Texas.

College Station, Tex.-- The No. 5 Illinois Fighting Illini got upended by the No. 18 Florida State Seminoles in the NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament's Round of 16. 

The FSU pair of Jeff Groslimond and Chris Westerhof defeated the Illini's top doubles team of Kevin Anderson and Ryan Rowe, 9(4)-8, which proved to be very valuable.  Ytai Abougzir and Mat Cloer clinched the doubles point for the Seminoles with an 8-5 victory over Ryler DeHeart and Pramod Dabir.  On the third court, Illinois' Chris Martin and GD Jones were up, 7-6, over Sam Chang and Jonathas Sucupira.

Up a point heading into singles play, the Seminoles took the first set in four of the six matches.    Illinois' Anderson opened up the singles scoring by knocking off Groslimond, 7-5, 6-4.  Florida State responded when Chip Webb took the sixth singles match 6-1, 7(6)-6 from Martin, to give the Seminoles a 2-1 lead. 

Illinois pulled even after DeHeart won 4-6, 6-3. 6-1 at second singles over Seminole Abougzir.  FU's Sucupira gave the Seminoles the lead for good with a fifth singles victory over the Illini's Ruben Gonzales, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.  Cloer wrapped up the victory for Florida State with a 6-1, 4-6, 7(5)-6 over Jones on the first singles court. 

With the loss, Illinois' season ends with a record of 25-4 overall and a perfect 10-0 in Big Ten action.  The Illini won the Big Ten Men's Tennis Regular Season and Conference Championship.