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April 11, 1999

COLUMBUS, Ohio – On an overcast, blustery Sunday afternoon at the Stickney Tennis Center, the second-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes, 7-0. OSUs record drops to 6-15 (0-8 Big Ten) while UI is now 18-2 (6-0).

%^$Even the simplest task of hitting a ball cleanly was made difficult by a steady wind of 20 mph and wind gusts in excess of 35 mph. Illinois managed to persevere and took an early 1-0 lead after sweeping the doubles. The No. 2 Fighting Illini kept their momentum going after a win at No. 3 singles to make the score 2-0.

%^$Oliver Freelove, Illinois’s top singles player and the nation’s eighth ranked player, was next off. He put on a fabulous display of tennis, defeating Chris Porter (So., Canton, Ohio) 6-1, 6-2. The Illini clinched the match with a victory at No. 4 singles.

%^$Two Buckeyes managed to take their opponents to three sets. At No. 2 singles, Andrew Carlson (So., Gambrills, Md.) lost the first set 6-2 but managed to sneak past the 49th-ranked Cary Franklin in the second 7-5. But Franklin’s experience paid dividends in the long run, as Illinois’s lanky left-hander walked away with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 victory.

%^$Ben Basil (Sr., Upper Arlington, Ohio) put on a gutty performance in his final home match as a Buckeye. After dropping the first set to UI’s Mike Kosta 6-4, he found himself down 4-1 in the second. But the gritty Basil wasnt finished. He won five consecutive games to take the second set 6-4 and force a third. The two players stayed on serve until 5-4, when Basil’s serve was broken to end the match.

%^$Ohio State will next see action this weekend. The Buckeyes travel to play at Wisconsin Sat., April 17, and Iowa Sun., April 18. Both matches start at 1 p.m. EDT.

%^$Match Score

%^$No. 2 Illinois 7%^$Ohio State 0

%^$Individual Scores
%^$Doubles
%^$No. 1 – No. 3 Freelove/Franklin, Illinois def. Basil/DeFalco, Ohio State 8-5
%^$No. 2 – Laski/Parker, Illinois def. Richardson/Johansen, Ohio State 8-5
%^$No. 3 – Teply/Snyder, Illinois def. Mazak/Bush, Ohio State 8-1

%^$Singles
%^$No. 1 – No. 8 Oliver Freelove, Illinois def. No. 79 Chris Porter, Ohio State 6-1, 6-2
%^$No. 2 – No. 49 Cary Franklin, Illinois def. Andrew Carlson, Ohio State 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
%^$No. 3 – Jeff Laski, Illinois def. Kevin Hawke, Ohio State 6-3, 6-0
%^$No. 4 – Jakub Teply, Illinois def. Derek DeFalco, Ohio State 6-3, 6-1
%^$No. 5 – Mike Kosta, Illinois def. Ben Basil, Ohio State 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
%^$No. 6 – Arnaud Lantin, Illinois def. Bob Wellstein, Ohio State 6-2, 6-3

%^$Time of Match: 3:09

%^$Records
%^$Illinois – 18-2, 6-0 Big Ten
%^$Ohio State – 6-15, 0-8 Big Ten