'Birds End Regular-Season with 7-0 Rout of Southern Illinois
April 23, 2011
NORMAL, Ill. - Timon Reichelt and Filip Miljevic celebrated their senior day in style Saturday afternoon, leading the Illinois State men's tennis team in a 7-0 thrashing of Southern Illinois at the Gregory Street Tennis Courts in Normal, Ill. The win leaves ISU with a 4-1 conference record, sealing the No. 2 seed for the Redbirds in next weekend's Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
Head coach Cris James was pleased to see his team end its regular-season campaign on a high note.
"I was very impressed with the way we played," James said. "Southern Illinois is pretty talented, but I felt we were tougher than they were in the match. I told our guys that we had to play solid the whole way through, especially with the windy conditions. We wanted to take our matches point-by-point, and I think it showed in the results."
ISU jumped on the Salukis from the start. In doubles play, Reichelt and Tuomas Manner swept Jorge Cavero and Carlos Do Val on the No. 2 court, 8-0. Miljevic partnered with Alexander Pelaez to defeat Adam Fabik and Brandon Florez on the No. 1 court, 8-2, while Skip Span and Juan Varon took care of business on the No. 3 court, defeating Orhan Spahic and Jordan Snyder, 8-4.
The Redbirds showed no signs of letdown in singles play, as ISU defeated the Salukis in straight-sets on all six courts. Varon slammed Rafael Cuadrillero on the No. 6 court, 6-1, 6-1. Span came through with a victory on the No. 5 court, 6-1, 6-2, over Spahic, while Pelaez sealed the Redbird victory with a win on the No. 1 court over Fabik, 6-3, 6-4. Manner defeated Do Val, 6-2, 6-2, on the No. 4 court, as Reichelt dropped Cavero on the No. 2 court, 6-3, 6-4. Miljevic added the exclamation point on the sweep, defeating Florez on the No. 3 court, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
With the conference tournament approaching next weekend, James feels that his team may be hitting its stride at the right time.
"I feel much better about where we are now compared to when we played Drake (Apr. 10)," James said. "It's a long season, and you're going to have some peaks and valleys. Hopefully we can continue to make progress this week and go into the tournament firing on all cylinders."
Tournament play begins Friday, Apr. 29 at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center in St. Louis, Mo.
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