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Courtesy: WMU

Broncos to Face #24 Illinois In NCAA Tournament

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 05/01/2012
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. - It was announced today that the Western Michigan men's tennis team will open their 2012 NCAA Tournament in Urbana, Illinois, when the Broncos travel to take on the 24th-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini. The match will take place either on May 11 or 12 at the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana.

Playing in their ninth-ever NCAA tournament, and ninth under head coach Dave Morin, the Broncos will look to buck the historical trend against the Illini; the match will represent the 14th meeting between the Broncos and the Illini, with Illinois holding an 11-2 edge in the series.

This will be the fourth time the Broncos and Illini have met in the NCAA Tournament since the 2004 season, and the first time the teams have met since the 2009 Tournament. Two members of the Broncos remain from the 2009 squad that fell to the Illini; senior co-captains Zeyad Montasser and Pablo Olivarez played in Nos. 5 and 5 singles, respectively, though neither's match finished with a decision. Montasser teamed with Kevin Hayward in the No. 2 doubles match, falling to the 41st-ranked pairing of Spicijaric/Czerwinski of Illinois.

Olivarez has some experience with members of the Illini this year, having faced members of the team at the 2011 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Midwest Regional, hosted at Ohio State.  Olivarez held his own, forcing Illinois's Tim Kopinski to a third set in singles play before falling 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. Olivarez would have his revenge later, however, teaming with Aaron Wong to beat Kopinski and his doubles partner 8-0 in doubles play.

The Broncos did defeat at Big Ten team earlier this year, dropping the Iowa Hawkeyes 5-2 at West Hills Athletic Club. Olivarez, Wong, Nadin Indre, and Ross VanderPloeg all collected singles wins.