Nelson Wins 100th Match as SIU Coach, Salukis Top Braves, 5-2

    Szymon Opieczonek was one of four Saluki players to win in both singles and doubles.

    Szymon Opieczonek was one of four Saluki players to win in both singles and doubles.
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    April 3, 2014

    By John Lock

    Complete Results | Complete Results (PDF)

    PEORIA, Ill. - The Southern Illinois men's tennis team (8-8, 1-0 MVC) beat Bradley (3-14, 0-1 MVC), 5-2, on Thursday evening in Peoria, Ill., to start MVC play 1-0 and pick up head coach Dann Nelson's 100th career win at SIU. Southern started off with the doubles point and swept through Nos. 1-4 singles in straight sets to secure the win.

    "Jonny (Rigby) and Michal (Kianicka) keep rolling in doubles, and Jorge (Cavero) and Szymon (Opieczonek) held on at the end to win," Nelson said. "We are struggling a bit at No. 3 doubles but had many positives. It was good to see our guys on courts 1-4 play at a high level today. Our matches with Bradley are always highly contested, and I thought we rose to the challenge in a big way."

    Jonny Rigby and Michal Kianicka cruised to an 8-3 win at No. 1 doubles to start the match off well for the Salukis before Filip Aleksic and Jeremy Dixon dropped their doubles match on court 3, 8-5. The doubles point came down to No. 2 doubles, where Szymon Opieczonek and Jorge Cavero pulled through with a 8-6 win to give SIU a 1-0 lead to start the match.

    Despite not winning at No. 3 doubles in the last eight matches, Southern has taken four of its last six doubles points. Rigby and Kianicka have won five of their last six matches at No. 1 doubles, and Opieczonek and Cavero have won six of their last seven and 11 of their last 13.



    Southern wrapped up the team victory quickly in singles. Kianicka started the singles domination with a 6-0, 6-3 win on court 3, followed by Rigby, the reigning MVC Athlete of the Week, winning 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 singles. Opieczonek secured the match-winning fourth point with a 6-2, 6-1, win at No. 4 singles. Bradley got wins on courts five and six before Cavero finished off his 6-3, 6-2 win to give SIU a 5-2 win in its MVC opener.

    The win was Nelson's 100th at SIU. He holds a 100-86 record in his ninth season as SIU's head coach and a 137-107 record overall in 13 seasons as a head coach.

    The Salukis are back in action tomorrow with a 3 p.m. match at Drake, which boasts a No. 32 national ranking and the No. 26 ranked doubles team nationally.