Broncos Fall to #24 Illinois at NCAA Tournament
The Broncos carried a six-match winning streak into the tournament match with the Illini, but the nationally-ranked hosts proved to be too much, as WMU generated early momentum in the doubles session but couldn't get over the hump. The Broncos held their own early in the doubles point and kept tight with the Illini; Pablo Olivarez and Aaron Wong picked up a break midway through their set with Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon to take a 4-3 lead, but the Illini's duo came back and took the match 8-5.
Ross VanderPloeg and Simon Blomberg played similarly strong in the No. 3 doubles match, overcoming a deficit of their own to pull even with Farris Gosea and Stephen Hoh. However, Illinois was able to close out the match on a run and take the doubles session. Nadin Indre and Zeyad Montasser took a 2-1 lead on serve on the 21st-ranked pairing of Dennis Nevolo and Roy Kalmanovich, with their match going unfinished while trailing 7-4.
WMU had an opportunity to bounce back in the singles session, but the firepower of the 2012 Big Ten champion proved to be too difficult to overcome. Indre had his work cut out for him, taking on the #7 player in the country in Nevolo, and gave him everything he could handle before falling 6-2, 6-3. VanderPloeg kept things tight with Kopinski in both sets before falling 6-2, 6-3, and Wong bounced back from a slow first set to take a second-set lead, before falling to Guignon.
#24 Illinois 4, Western Michigan 0
1. #7 Dennis Nevolo (ILL) def. Nadin Indre (WMU) 6-2, 6-3
2. #31 Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) vs. Zeyad Montasser (WMU) 6-3, 3-2, unfinished
3. Bruno Abdelnour (ILL) vs. Pablo Olivarez (WMU) 6-2, 4-2, unfinished
4. Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Ross VanderPloeg (WMU) 6-2, 6-3
5. Stephen Hoh (ILL) vs. Simon Blomberg (WMU) 6-2, 4-1, unfinished
6. Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Aaron Wong (WMU) 6-0, 6-2
Order of finish (1,6,4)
1. #21 Dennis Nevolo/Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) vs. Nadin Indre/Zeyad Montasser (WMU) 7-4
2. Tim Kopinski/Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Pablo Olivarez/Aaron Wong (WMU) 8-5
3. Farris Gosea/Stephen Hoh (ILL) def. Ross VanderPloeg/Simon Blomberg (WMU) 8-6
Order of finish (2,3)