IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s tennis team fell to No. 7 Illinois, 5-2, Saturday afternoon at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex. The Illini handed Iowa its third Big Ten loss of the season.
The match started with the Hawkeyes capturing the doubles point for the 14th time in 19 matches. Jonas Larsen/Kareem Allaf made quick work of their opponent, downing Illinois’ 47th-ranked doubles duo, 6-4, on court one. At No. 3, Jake Jacoby/Joe Tyler picked up their fifth straight doubles victory, and 10th of the season, with a thrilling 7-6(6) win to clinch the doubles point.
The final team score was not indicative of how closely competitive the match was. Tyler picked up his 12th win of the season over No. 103 Aron Hiltzik of Illinois, 6-7(4), 6-4, 4-0 (retired), comeback victory. The win was the freshman’s first over a ranked opponent as a Hawkeye.
Senior Josh Silverstein suffered his first three-set loss of the season (7-1) on court two. Illinois’ Alex Brown, ranked 59th in the country, outlasted Silverstein, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4. Allaf won his first set (6-2), but then fell 7-5 and 6-1 in sets two and three, respectively. Davies dropped his match on court six, 7-6(8), 6-2. Freshman Piotr Smietana, playing at No.1 for the first time in Big Ten competition, fell to Aleks Vukic of Illinois, 3-6, 4-6. Larsen also dropped his decision on court five in straight sets.
QUOTING HEAD COACH ROSS WILSON
“We are playing at really high level right now as a team. We need to close out sets and matches against the top teams a little better.”
The Hawkeyes host matches against Northwestern (noon) and South Dakota State (3:30 and 5:30 p.m.) on Sunday at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex. Admission is free to the public.
#7 Illinois 5, Iowa 2
March 31, 2018 | Noon (CT) | Iowa City, Iowa | HTRC
1. Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. Piotr Smietana (IOWA): 6-3, 6-4
2. #59 Alex Brown (ILL) def. Josh Silverstein (IOWA): 5-7, 6-2, 6-4
3. Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) def. Kareem Allaf (IOWA): 2-6, 7-5, 6-1
4. Joe Tyler (IOWA) def. #103 Aron Hiltzik (ILL): 6-7(4), 6-4, 4-0, retired
5. Zeke Clark (ILL) def. Jonas Larsen (IOWA): 6-4, 6-4
6. Vuk Budic (ILL) def. Will Davies (IOWA): 7-6(8), 6-2
1. #70 Allaf/Larsen (IOWA) def. #47 Vukic/Hiltzik (ILL): 6-4
2. #40 Smietana/Davies (IOWA) vs. Clark/Kovacevic (ILL): 6-6 (3-3), unfinished
3. Tyler/Jacoby (IOWA) def. Chakravarthi/Brown (ILL): 7-6 (6)
Iowa: 9-10 (1-3)
#7 Illinois: 14-5 (4-0)
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,5,3,6,4,2)