'Birds Drop to Bradley, 5-2
Tuomas  Manner
Tuomas Manner

April 20, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The Illinois State men's tennis team competed against Bradley for its final home match of the year Friday at the Evergreen Racquet Club in Bloomington, Ill. The Redbirds won 1-of-3 matches in doubles play and 2-of-6 matches in singles action.

Competition began with doubles play, as Jordan Badenko and Willi Peter were the first team to finish their match, losing to Ashton Kalhorn and Arthur Romanet in the No. 3 spot, 8-3. Skip Span and Muddappa Appanervanda fell to Ahmed Albitar and Hamish Weerasinghe in the No. 2 position, 8-6, giving Bradley the first point of the competition.

Alexander Pelaez and Tuomas Manner made a comeback in the No. 1 doubles spot to beat Justin Abrams and Juan Diego Cuadrado, 8-6, taking the pair's overall record as a doubles team to 18-8.

Head coach Cris James was impressed with the effort shown by Peleaz and Manner.

"I think Alex and Tuomas were playing, for whatever reason, a little defensive in the beginning of their match," said James. "Then, when they got aggressive, they took over."

Span celebrated his victory in singles action in his final home match of his college career, beating Ashton Kalhorn in the No. 3 position, 6-2, 6-2.

"Skip is a great kid," said James. "He's grown up a lot and has always been a pretty good big-match player for us so I knew he would be good today. He has been great for this team. He is a kid that does everything right; he shows up every day on time, works his butt off, and wants to be better, and that's what we want this team to be all about."



Manner saw success, as well, in the No. 2 spot, beating Hamish Weerasinghe, 6-4, 6-0.

Not as fortunate in singles play were Jacob Wilson, who fell to Justin Abrams in the No. 6 position, 6-4, 7-5, and Appanervanda, who dropped to Juan Diego Cuadrado, 7-5, 6-3. Peter also lost to Arthur Romanet in the No. 5 position, 6-4, 7-6, while Pelaez fell in the No. 1 spot to Ahmed Albitar, 7-5, 6-4, rounding out the competition.

"Obviously, we are pretty disappointed," said James. "A lot of credit to Bradley, though, they were defiantly the hungrier team. They came to play and I think it was a big win for them. They just wanted it more than we did."

Illinois State will be back in action against Southern Illinois Sunday in Carbondale, Ill. Play is set to begin at 11 a.m.

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