Illinois State Drops to No. 46 Drake, 6-1
Alexander Pelaez

Alexander Pelaez
The Illinois State men's tennis team hosted its second match of the weekend against Drake Saturday at the Gregory Street Tennis Courts in Normal, Ill. Alexander Pelaez led the Redbirds as he won 2-of-2 matches.

Drake took the first point of the competition in doubles action as Cesar Bracho and Alen Salisbasic beat Skip Span and Jordan Badenko in the No. 3 position, 8-2, and Tuomas Manner and Willi Peter fell in the No. 2 spot to Jean Erasmus and Robin Goodman, 8-2.

Pelaez and Jusso Ojanen made a huge comeback for their win in doubles action, beating Anis Ghorbel and James McKie in the No. 1 position, 8-7.

"Alex and Jusso play well together," said head coach Cris James. "It was a really good win for them today and I think they should be really proud of it."

Drake was not letting down as Manner lost his singles match to James McKie in the No. 2 spot, 6-2, 6-1, and Span fell to Jonathan Hadash in the No. 3 position, 6-4, 6-2. Peter dropped to Alen Salibasic in the No. 5 spot, 6-2, 6-3, while Badenko lost in the No. 6 position to Ben Mullis, 6-1, 6-2. Ojanen fell to Robin Goodman, 4-6, 6-4, 10-6.

Pelaez was the only Redbird to get a victory in singles action, beating Anis Ghorbel in the No. 1 spot, 6-2, 3-6, 11-9.

"Alex has all of the talent and all of the ability to be the best guy in the conference," said James. "He and his opponent today were probably the two best guys in the conference. They played each other in a tough match back in January, which Alex came up short in, but when Alex sustains his level and his focus, he can beat him. He did that well today."

James is confident in his players as they continue to develop and prepare for conference at the end of the month.

"I hope we take some confidence from this match," said James. "Drake is clearly the favorite to win conference. We didn't get it done today, but I walk out of here thinking we could beat this team."

ISU will be back in action Sunday, April 15, against Wichita State. Play is set to begin at 10 a.m.

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