URBANA, Ill. - Despite winning the first set in four singles matches, Virginia Tech could not hold the lead in any of them and dropped a 6-1 decision Friday night to No. 15 Illinois in the opening round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Regional. The match was played at the Atkins Tennis Center on the University of Illinois campus.
The event features 60 teams playing in 15 regionals across the nation who will battle for the right to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships at the Boars Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. The host team, No. 2 Virginia, awaits the 15 winners, in the finals which will take place Feb. 12-15.
Virginia Tech (1-1), ranked No. 27 in the ITA preseason national poll, lost both of the completed doubles matches to lose the first point, then dropped five of the six, tight singles contest.
In singles, Tech’s lone win occurred at No. 2 as Luka Somen (So., Karlovac, Croatia) defeated Johnny Hamui, 6-3, 7-5. In the only other straight-set singles match, Corrado Degl’ Incerti Tocci (So., Reggio Emilia, Italy) lost, 7-6, 6-4, at No. 3 to Mark Czerwinski.
The remaining contest were all hotly contested with the Illini coming from behind to win each match. At No. 1, Yoann Re (Sr., Verdun, Quebec, Canada) lost, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, to 43rd-ranked Dennis Nevolo while No. 75 Patrick Daciek (So., Severna Park, Md.) fell, 6-7, 6-2, 7-5, in his No. 4 contest against Abe Souza. Will Beck (Jr., Potomac, Md.) dropped the No. 5 match, 6-7, 6-0, 6-3, versus Stephen Hoh and No. 100 Sebastien Jacques (Jr., Magog, Quebec, Canada) lost, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, at No. 6 to Connor Roth.
Illinois (1-1) captured the doubles point as Beck/Daciek lost the No. 1 match, 8-4, to Hamui/Nevolo and Somen/Tocci dropped the No. 3 match, 8-4, against Roth/Souza. Jacques/Re trailed Czerwinski/Hoh, 7-6, at No. 2 when the match was halted once the doubles point had been decided.
The Hokies return to action on Saturday at 3 p.m. (ET) against No. 21 Boise State in a consolation match.
#15 Illinois 6, #27 Virginia Tech 1
1. #43 Dennis Nevolo def. Yoann Re (VT) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
2. Luka Somen (VT) def. Johnny Hamui (UI) 6-3, 7-5
3. Mark Czerwinski (UI) def. Corrado Degl’ Incerti Tocci (VT) 7-6, 6-4
4. Abe Souza (UI) def. #75 Patrick Daciek (VT) 6-7, 6-2, 7-5
5. Stephen Hoh (UI) def. Will Beck (VT) 6-7, 6-0, 6-3
6. Connor Roth def. #100 Sebastien Jacques (VT) 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
Finishing Order: 3, 1, 2, 6*, 5, 4
1. Hamui/Nevolo (UI) def. Beck/Daciek (VT) 8-4
2. Czerwinski/Hoh vs. Jacques/Re (VT) 7-6 (UI) DNF
3. Roth/Souza (UI) def. Somen/Tocci (VT) 8-4
Finishing Order: 3, 1*
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