April 28, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio-The University of Illinois, the No. 1 seed in the 2002 Big Ten Men’s Tennis Tournament, defeated No. 3 Minnesota in the championship match at the Stickney Tennis Center Sunday. Michael Calkins scored the winning-point for Illinois by defeating Chris Wettengel, 6-1, 6-4, at the No. 5 position.

In doubles action, Illinois’ Phil Stolt and Brian Wilson started the match by defeating Manuel Lievano and Reven Stephens, 8-6, at the No. 2 position. Then, Minnesota’s Alex Zharinov and Avery Ticer downed Mike Kosta and Nathan Zeder, 8-4, at the No. 3 spot. Illinois’Amer Delic and Michael Calkins defeated Minnesota’s Harsh Mankad and Thomas Haug, 9-7, to win the doubles point for the Illini.

The Illini dominated the singles matches, only allowing the Gophers to win one match. UI’s Brian Wilson topped Thomas Haug, 6-3, 6-3, at the No. 2 position. UI’s Nathan Zeder defeated Avery Ticer, 6-1, 6-2, at the No. 6 spot.

Minnesota’s Alex Zharinov scored the only point of the match for the Gophers. Zharinov defeated Phil Stolt, 6-3, 6-0, at the No. 3 position. The victory was not enough to over come the Illini.

Illinois receives the Big Ten’s automatic berth for the 2002 NCAA Championship tournament. The NCAA regionals will be held May 11-12 at selected campus locations. The NCAA championships are May 18-27 in College Station, Texas.

Ohio State, ranked No. 19 nationally, will find out if it qualified for the NCAA tournament Thursday when the field of 64 teams is announced by the NCAA.

(1) Illinois 4 (23-4, 13-0) (3) Minnesota 1 (12-12, 7-6)

Singles **
(1) Amer Delic (UI) vs. Harsh Mankad (Minn) Abandoned
(2) Brian Wilson (UI) def. Thomas Haug (Minn) 6-3, 6-3
(3) Alex Zharinov (Minn) def. Phil Stolt (UI) 6-3, 6-0
(4) Mike Kosta (UI) vs. Manuel Lievano (Minn) Abandoned
(5) Michael Calkins (UI) def. Chris Wettengel (Minn) 6-1, 6-4
(6) Nathan Zeder (UI) def. Avery Ticer (Minn) 6-1, 6-2

Doubles **
(1) Delic/Calkins (UI) def. Mankad/Haug (Minn) 9-7
(2) Stolt/Wilson (UI) def. Lievano/Stephens (Minn) 8-6
(3) Zharinov/Ticer (Minn) def. Kosta/Zeder (UI) 8-4

** Individual records entering Big Ten Tournament.