Friday, May 14, 2010

2010 Big Ten Tennis Conference Championships day two

April 30, 2010
It's day two of the Big Ten Tennis Conference Championships and I spent it at the men's event at the University of Indiana.  And it was absolutely nothing like day one.

With the top seeds competing on the second day of the championships, no one was sure what to expect.  Yesterday was full of tiebreakers and matches that came down to the finish line.   Today was filled with quick sweeps and no surprises.

First up was top-seeded Ohio State vs. Northwestern.  Unfortunately, I missed that match because of car trouble (which can't be ignored when you have 1,000 miles of driving for the weekend).  I did hear that the Buckeyes struggled a bit during doubles.  It wasn't enough for them to lose the point -- or any point -- on their way to a 4-0 victory.

Fourth-seeded Wisconsin also had some doubles problems.  They took it easy at No. 1 before Minnesota had No. 3 (both with 8-3 scores).  It all came down to the last court where a close match went all the way to 9-7 before the Badgers won it.  There was no hesitation in singles for Wisconsin as the proceeded with three straight set wins from Chris Freeman, Marek Michalka and Billy Bertha, in that order.

The second-seeded Fighting Illini made "double-trouble" the phrase of the day, but like the seeds before them, they pulled it out in the end.   There was never a problem at No. 1, where Marek Czerwinski & Abe Souza had the 8-1 win, but Illinois was down 5-3 on court No. 2 and 4-2 on No. 3.  Johnny Hamui & Dennis Nevolo took charge on the middle court, though, clinching it before Iowa's Reinoud Haal & Austen Kauss got past 7-4 on the third.
Hawkeyes Austen Kauss and Marc Bruche did claim sets in tiebreakers, but that would be the closest Iowa would get to the winners' circle. Czerwinski, Souza and Hamui would add singles wins to their day's doubles accomplishments and the Illini advanced with a 4-0 win.

Third-seeded Michigan made it a fourth straight 4-0 as they defeated the hometeam Indiana Hoosiers.   Unlike their predecessors, there wasn't any problems in doubles, with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 and a 6-3 lead on the first court.  Singles would include the loss of three first sets, but George Navas, Evan King and Chris Cha sealed a Wolverine win.

Saturday's semifinal matches at the Big Ten Men's Conference Championships will be Ohio State vs. Wisconsin followed by Illinois vs. Michigan.  Live results are available on the official website. I will actually be at the University of Iowa, where there were also no suprises:   No. 1 Michigan beat Wisconsin, 4-0;   No. 4 Iowa defeated Indiana, 4-1; No. 3 Illinois took out Purdue, 4-2; and No. 2 Northwestern was the winner over Ohio State, 4-1.  In addition to this column, you can follow the action at the University of Iowa site.
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