April 18, 2007
By Ryan Shaw
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois men's tennis team picked up its 12th win of the season yesterday in their final home match, downing Eastern Illinois 5-2.
The Salukis (12-6, 2-3 MVC) fell behind early, dropping the doubles point to the Panthers (13-7, 5-4 OVC).
Vuk Milicevic and Brandon Lenfert defeated Saluki duo Karl Nilsson and Sergio Sanchez at No. 1, 8-3. Charles Levaque and Jordan Nestrund took advantage of Rodrigo Lama and Hugo Vidal's lack of focus to storm back from down 4-1 and collect an 8-5 victory in No. 3 action.
"For the most part our team does a very good job concentrating on the big points," said Saluki head coach Dann Nelson. "The guys came out with a lot of fire after losing the doubles point. We know what it is like to be down one point after losing the doubles point. If we do not get the doubles point we are never discouraged. We know we can get that point back quickly in singles."
The Salukis were able to get the point back quickly in singles, as well as four other points to earn the 5-2 win.
In No. 3 singles action Vidal dispatched Lenfort, 6-2, 6-4. Waked also won in straight sets, beating Nestrund 6-4, 6-4 at No. 5. Villasenor dropped his match at No. 1 to Levaque, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
On Senior Day at SIU all three Saluki seniors won their matches, giving their team the three points it needed for the win.
"Our seniors did a phenomenal job today with the match on the line," said Nelson. Rodrigo Lama came back from a set down and showed why he is 8-0 at home. Nick Bauer clinched the match for us winning the third set. Nick is 6-1 in third set matches this year. Senior Sergio Sanchez did a great job today bouncing back from the Creighton loss in singles. Sergio had all the answers today."
Nelson was pleased with the play of his seniors and his team's win over a quality opponent.
"Eastern is a whole lot better than they were last year," said Nelson. "I think my friend (head coach) John Blackburn is doing an excellent job at Eastern."
The Salukis will travel to Kansas to face Wichita State in their final match of the regular season on Sunday at 10 a.m.
No. 1 - Vuk Milicevic/Brandon Lenfert (EIU) def. Karl Nilsson/Sergio Sanchez (SIU), 8-3
No. 2 - Lucas Waked/Felipe Villasenor (SIU) def. Chris Thomas/Sean Bush (EIU), 8-4
No. 3 - Charles Levaque/Jordan Nestrud (EIU) def. Rodrigo Lama/Hugo Vidal (SIU), 8-5
No. 1 - Charles Levaque (EIU) def. Felipe Villasenor (SIU), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
No. 2 - Sergio Sanchez (SIU) def. Vuk Milicevic (EIU), 7-5, 6-2
No. 3 - Hugo Vidal (SIU) def. Brandon Lenfert (EIU), 6-2, 6-4
No. 4 - Rodrigo Lama (SIU) def. Jeffrey Rutherford (EIU), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
No. 5 - Lucas Waked (SIU) def. Jordan Nestrud (EIU), 6-4, 6-4
No. 6 - Nick Bauer (SIU) def. Sean Bush (EIU), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
|Friday, Jan 17|
|Men's Tennis||Stillwater, Ok.||1:00 PM|
|Saturday, Jan 18|
|Men's Tennis||Stillwater, Ok.||10:00 AM|
|Friday, Jan 31|
|Men's Tennis||Rockford, Ill.||5:00 PM|
|Saturday, Feb 1|
|Men's Tennis||Rockford, Ill.||10:00 AM|
|Friday, Feb 7|
|Men's Tennis||St. Louis, Mo.||TBA|