Illini Fall in NCAA Tournament

Ryler DeHeart and the Illini ended their season with a 24-7 record

Ryler DeHeart and the Illini ended their season with a 24-7 record

May 21, 2006

The eighth-ranked, seventh-seeded Illinois men's tennis team lost a heartbreaking, 4-2 decision to the defending national champion UCLA squad, Saturday at the NCAA Men's Tennis Championships in Palo Alto, Calif., ending its quest for the program's second-ever national championship. The grueling match lasted three hours and 28 minutes. The Illini finish the 2006 season a 24-7 record.

"You've got to give UCLA a lot of credit," head coach Brad Dancer said. "They found a way to win points in the critical times of the match. We had chances to win this match, but didn't take advantage (of those chances). The doubles point proved to be pivotal. All season, we haven't seemed to be able to bounce back from losing doubles. I thought we had the edge at No. 3 doubles, but we couldn't pull out the win."

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