Illinois Fighting Illini

Discussion in 'College Tennis Talk' started by IlliniSky, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    After beating Duke, Kentucky and Florida, it's going to be very interesting what this team will do at the Indoors. If Sousa, Singh, and Kalmanovich can continue to improve, this could be an Elite Eight team.
     
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  2. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    I would love to see them do well but playing indoors at home on those particular courts often is worth a game or two a set and that won't be in their favor when they play on a neutral court.
     
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  3. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    That's true. I don't think they can continue this kind of result away from home. But once Singh gets going, which I still have my doubts about, this team could be tough to beat.
     
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  4. saigonbond

    saigonbond Guest

    Nevolo building a nice resume of victims since November:
    #1 Williams, #3 Domijan, #4 Lacroix, #20 Escobar, #21 Smith, #25 Bonin

    Go ILLINI!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2011
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  5. saigonbond

    saigonbond Guest

    On a side note, nice to see big KA win his 1st title at the Jo-burg SA Open. Big KA on the rise!

    Go ILLINI!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2011
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  6. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    And today ranked at #9, up from #16
     
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  7. bezerker

    bezerker New User

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    What is the deal with Singh? He sounds like he's got a ton of talent...was in injury? I thought that he would become eligible for this semester, but he didn't play vs Kentucky. And then against Florida, he looked horrible. I was at that match, and he seemed disinterested. Must have been injury, but I couldn't pick up anything noticeable. But they won because he went out and played. If everyone had bumped down a court, I doubt they would have won that match.
     
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  8. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    I can't figure out Singh either. I guess we'll see as the season progresses. I wonder if he is going to play at the Indoors. Lots of questions to be answerd about him.
     
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  9. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    Illinois Up to No. 7

    Well, The ITA Indoors turned out pretty good. We beat Texas A&M, took a match from Virginia after getting swept a few weeks ago, and then almost beat Texas. Not a bad tournament.

    The Illini really seem much improved over last year. Looking forward to the Big Ten season.
     
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  10. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Illini are solid Top 10, and I appreciate that they've played a brutal schedule.

    I see at least a Rnd of 16 apperance at the NCAAs, QFs are very possible, and maybe (a huge MAYBE), a SF apperance if everything is clicking, everyone is healthy and they aren't seeded to meet No. 1 or No. 2 in the QFs. Maybe I'm dreaming. QFs seem like the most reasonable best result.
     
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  11. mikej

    mikej Hall of Fame

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    SF doesn't seem unreasonable for Illinois...I think a number of teams including USC, UCLA, Ohio St, Duke, Illinois, Georgia have a shot at the semis if they can avoid Tenn. and UVA until then...all about the seedings
     
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  12. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    Illinois is an Elite Eight team at best this year. Still, thinking back to the beginning of the 09-10 season, when we didn't even know who was going to be on the team, they have really got it back together.

    And this year is really between Virginia and Tennessee. I'm sure everybody will be praying the day before they annouce the NCAA draw so they won't end up in either bracket.

    After taking a nice long drink of Illini orange koolaid, I'll say Illinois will make it to their fourth Final Four and Nevolo will win Illinois' second NCAA singles title.

    I'll come back to my senses later.
     
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  13. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    Vs. Iowa

    Illinois is in danger of losing to Iowa today.

    Nevolo has not played since the ITA Indoors. Neither has Singh. Anyone know what's up with that? Are they sick or injured?
     
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  14. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    Illinois barely pulls it out. Souza wins 6-4 in the third set of the deciding match for a 4-3 Illini victory.

    My pet peeve with Illinois tennis. In basketball or football, we get the news waaaaaaaaay before the game that such and such won't be playing for whatever reason. In tennis, we don't get a single word about why the number 9 player in the country Nevolo and our #2 singes guy Sing are not playing in the doubles or singles. The tennis people at Illinois really need to get on the ball.
     
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  15. bezerker

    bezerker New User

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    None of the three teams they played have had good results this far this season, but it almost cost them today. I would think that Nevolo and Singh are being held out but will be back for their bigger matches. No clue on Nevolo's issue, but I know SIngh has been battling a wrist injury for a while. Big Ten is actually pretty strong this year, so they'll need them soon. it's not just the Illinois-Ohio State show like recent years.
     
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  16. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    I think it just those teams though. Michigan and Minnesota are good teams but they do not have enought to beat one of the big 2. Michigan isn't deep enough(they just slid by Hawaii) and Minnesota does not have the top strength.

    after that noone else is really that good at all. Indiana is a very distant 5th
     
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  17. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    It irks me that the official site will give the match results but not a single word about why Nevolo and Singh are held out. I mean, come on...
     
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  18. bezerker

    bezerker New User

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    You're right that none of them should beat Illinois or Ohio State. I just meant that if they think they can stroll out without their best lineup and win, they might be mistaken. Iowa is a bottom tier team in the conference and they were tied 3-3 and in a third set to decide the match. So if they take the other teams lightly, then they could have trouble on the road
     
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  19. bezerker

    bezerker New User

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    Well my theory was wrong. They're playing a more formidable opponent tonight and again Nevolo is not playing. They're down 3-1 and things don't look good.
     
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  20. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Ive been thinking about a road trip up to the Big 10 champs in Madison, an OSU-Illinois matchup would be a great final.
     
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  21. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Well, they lost 5-2, but really still could have won looking at the actual scores.

    I wouldn't make much of it. Clearly, they're a completely different team with Nevolo. But, if they lose a few more matches because of his absence, then their seed for the NCAAs could be lower and affect their chances to go far. And, of course, if he doesn't make it back at all, then they're really screwed.
     
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  22. bezerker

    bezerker New User

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    Yea I agree. I was talking about my theory saying that Nevolo was probably sitting as a precaution because they were playing weaker teams.
     
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  23. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    If a player is 100% healthy, a college coach does not rest him unless (1) the opponent is so inferior that there is absolutely no question that his team will win anyway, i.e. there is no risk, and (2) therefore he would like other players to get some playing time.

    Goal 2 can be accomplished by resting the 5/6 players and letting two guys play who usually don't. This involves much less risk of actually losing the match.

    Obviously, the absence of Nevolo and Singh against Iowa means they were injured and/or sick.
     
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  24. Lefty Spin

    Lefty Spin Rookie

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    Singh and nevolo are both injured according to the illinois website.
     
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  25. bezerker

    bezerker New User

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    Nevolo is playing today in doubles
     
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  26. bezerker

    bezerker New User

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    But not in singles....weird. Illinois will be up against it with this lineup today. Hoh all the way up to #2
     
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  27. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    I think Texas A&M is doing that stupid scheme where the court numbers do not match the position numbers, so the court numbers are deceiving.

    I think the Illinois singles lineup is:

    Hamui
    Kalmanovich
    Souza
    Hoh
    Abdelnour
    Alden

    That matches what I know of the Texas A&M lineup:

    Krajicek
    Dadamo
    Grigorov
    etc.
     
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  28. saigonbond

    saigonbond Guest

    DOUBLES:
    1. #3 Austin Krajicek/Jeff Dadamo (A&M) def. Brian Alden/Johnny Hamui (ILL) 8-5
    2. Alexey Grigorov/Junior Ore (A&M) def. Dennis Nevolo/Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) 8-5
    3. #45 Colin Hoover/Alberto Bautista (A&M) def. Abe Souza/Stephen Hoh (ILL) 8-6


    SINGLES:
    1. #38 Austin Krajicek (A&M) def. #62 Johnny Hamui (ILL) 6-0, 7-6
    2. #55 Jeff Dadamo (A&M) def. Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) 7-6, 6-4
    3. Alexey Grigorov (A&M) def. #65 Abe Souza (ILL) 6-2, 3-6, 7-5
    4. #80 Alexis Klegou (A&M) def. Stephen Hoh (ILL) 6-7, 6-2, 1-0 (10-7)
    5. Alberto Bautista (A&M) def. Bruno Abdelnour (ILL) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
    6. Niall Angus (A&M) def. Brian Alden (ILL) 6-1, 6-3

    1. #3 Austin Krajicek/Jeff Dadamo (A&M) def. Brian Alden/Johnny Hamui (ILL) 8-5
    2. Alexey Grigorov/Junior Ore (A&M) def. Dennis Nevolo/Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) 8-5
    3. #45 Colin Hoover/Alberto Bautista (A&M) def. Abe Souza/Stephen Hoh (ILL) 8-6

    Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,1,2,4,3,5)
    #17 Texas A&M def. #6 Illinois, 7-0
    @College Station, TX
    =========================================

    My girlfriend and I attended the matches today. The teams started 20 minutes late because of the weather conditions, specifically the extremely windy conditions. On court readings showed 23-25 mph with gusts 30-42 mph. They almost did not even play (as it was well withing their rights under ITA Rules) as there were no indoor facilities. Illinois was probably a bit more concerned, being it was their first outdoor matches of the season with several players coming off injury and sickness. The Mitchell Center is a quality facility with good seating for fans. However, the N and W sides are completely open to the wind from the open fields with zero trees or structures to block the elements. Fans lost many hats, umbrellas, and popcorn to the wind. You literally had dirt in your eyes and on your teeth all day. They also sorely lack indoor facilities. The crowd was a bit light and campus a bit quiet being Spring Break.

    BRIEF ILLINI SYNOPSIS:
    ILL as a team continue to struggle at Doubles. Coach Dancer may have found some good combinations for future matches though. The Illini fought well in the terrible conditions in their 1st outdoor dual. But were simply outmanned without their top guns against a very good A&M team who is growing in confidence with back-to-back W's over the best of the Big Ten. With a full healthy lineup, the Illini are a tough out for anyone. I see no reason why they won't do damage during the Big Ten season and make a deep run in the NCAAs.

    ILL #1 Nevolo made a brief return to the lineup only playing doubles and could barely run or serve. A&M fans who didn't know he's been injured since Seattle were wondering why he was hitting lollipops at 60 mph (a few chuckled) and not going to net. Nevolo had to be helped off the court by 2 asst. coaches following doubles. He was visibly upset at being pulled from singles and wanted to play anyway. Unfortunately he may have injured himself further. He should have sat out again today. Bad coaching decision by Dancer.

    ILL #2 Singh has still not recovered from his early season injury and continued to be out of the lineup.

    ILL #3 Hamui played up at #1 Singles. He really struggled with the wind in the 1st set. He gave Krajicek all he could handle in the 2nd and was up 5-3 & serving before bowing out. Krajicek has a superb all court game with a big lefty serve.

    ILL #4 Kalmanovich played up at #2 Singles. He was still struggling with his sickness that kept him out in Seattle and was coughing and hacking throughout. His knees looked strong though. Kal's game from a couple years ago is coming back, especially his huge forehand that had the pro-A&M crowd wowing. He served for the 1st set twice. Dadamo won the big points with his huge lefty serve in a really tight affair that could have gone either way, even as Dadamo earned code violations.

    ILL #5 Souza played up at #3 Singles. Abe is the consumate grinder who had some issues adjusting to the wind in the 1st. He got stronger while playing his various spins and varied pace of shot game to frustrate the Russian Grigorov into some code violations in the 2nd. Abe came back from 1-4 to even things up at 5-5. He couldn't convert a break chance and then dropped his serve to end things. Abe was visibly disappointed at himself for not coming from behind to win as he so often does.

    ILL #6 Hoh played up at #4 Singles. Hoh used his strong all court game to come forward as he took control in the 1st with some strong S&V'ing. Lost his aggressiveness in the 2nd, then lost a shortened 3rd due to time.

    ILL #7 Abdelnour played up at #5 Singles. Bruno lost a close one in 3, with both guys struggling with the wind. Lots of baseline banging with lots of unforced errors as they tried to hammer through the gusts at the windier end to the facility. He normally doesn't see much Singles action.

    ILL #8 Alden played up at #6 Singles. Big Brian normally doesn't see any time at Singles and is a Doubles specialist. He struggled mightily at the windier end of the facility. He played quite well with Hamui at #1 Doubles, as they gave a scare to Krajicek/Dadamo when they were serving at 5-5 AD.

    Go Illini!
    Cheers!
     
    #28
  29. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    Has anyone heard how Nevolo and Singh are doing? They still have 5 days until their match with Penn State.
     
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  30. bezerker

    bezerker New User

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    Well according to the live stats we might finally see the Illini at full strength. Interesting that Kalmanovich is up to 2 and followed by Hamui, Singh, Souza, Hoh. Should be a great match. I wish I was there
     
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  31. bezerker

    bezerker New User

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    Well, Singh has been yanked....
     
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  32. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    tOSU humiliates Illinois

    Illinois humiliated by tOSU 7-0 at home today. Pathetic showing. The Buckeyes continue to shuffle their lineup like they were playing cards. Doesn't really matter though.

    The 2011 Illini. Second place finish, barely 20 wins, and maybe out again in the 1st or second round of the NCAA.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
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  33. cmb

    cmb Semi-Pro

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    what exactly is wrong with Nevolo? someone said he was serving like 60mph against A and M? shoulder is injured?
     
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  34. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    That's what I read on here too. Nevolo looked bad during the A&M match, but this weekend he beat PSU's No. 1 handily and lost a three setter to Buchanan so maybe he's recovered now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
    #34
  35. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    Rankings
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    Freeeeeeee Free Fallin'~~~~~~~
     
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  36. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    I was at the Ohio State match and the score is somewhat misleading in that a few of the matches were close enough that "maybe" they could swing the other way but overall they were outplayed.

    I sat next to Nevolo's dad and after winning the first set and about 4-4 in the second, you could see that he ran out of gas, no legs after not playing for 2 1/2 weeks. His father spoke of his physical ailment but not sure they would want me stating this on a public board.
     
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  37. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    How does Nevolo play? He must have a pretty high ceiling or high gear he can reach because he has bageled many of the top players in a set before.
     
    #37
  38. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    I will get to see them at Bloomington on saturday, weather should be just good enough for outdoors according to the forecast although it is snowing today! Indiana now at 29.
     
    #38
  39. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Indiana pulls an upset in a 4-3 win over Illinois on a very windy outside game.
     
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  40. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    Indiana beats Illinois for the first time since the 90s!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
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  41. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Classy program all round
     
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  42. Lefty Spin

    Lefty Spin Rookie

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    Illini Sky, I think you are overreacting about the loss to Indiana. Based on what I have been told by some people who were at the match, Indiana just played a little bit better. Also, without KU in the line-up their lack of depth at the lower positions becomes a problem. I also think Indiana is an improving program. I actually thought they would be better last year. I think they also beat Michigan this year and i think you would agree that Bruce has done a great job at Michigan.

    Hey as former Illini, I would love them to win the Big Ten every year but that isn't going to happen. Also, I think you are selling short what Tucker has done at tOSU. I don't know how old you are but when I was Illinois we finished in the bottom three of the Big Ten every year.

    Brad does have some good recruits for the next two years so I think they will continue to be strong.
     
    #42
  43. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    Losing to indiana reeks to high heaven and will for quite a while.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
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  44. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    Good post. College tennis needs more of this attitude. Too much feel good stuff in college tennis.
     
    #44
  45. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    I think that attrition is a big problem at Illinois. Not as bad as Florida, but close. (Ironically, one of the many players to transfer out of Florida was Johnny Hamui, who went to Illinois).

    Kalmanovich came back, which helps reduce the overall count. But there is something wrong when people leave every year. They could use Ruan Roelofse this year, for example.
     
    #45
  46. Lefty Spin

    Lefty Spin Rookie

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    ClarkC, you may be on to something regarding attrition. It is important to remember, however, that bringing top talent to a place like Champaign-Urbana is not always easy. My understanding is that Ruan left because he was homesick. Waylon Chin wanted more playing time. I think Florida has similar issues in regards to playing time. If they had Hamui and the kid that transferred to Texas A&M they would have a great team. I think Bennetteau left because he was homesick. But good players leave schools all the time for a variety of reasons. For example, UW-Madison could use Pohlmann this year, but he transferred to San Diego for the weather and to play with Dean Jackson.

    It is important to note, that there are a lot of good players throughout the college ranks so the fans need to understand that on any given day a team can lose. I think the key thing for fans of any school to remember is that unlike football, if a key player has a bad day, a college tennis team can lose to some teams that surprise its fans.

    I still think too many people don't respect the quality of the other teams. Indiana, for example, has a solid program. Minnesota and Michigan are also very good. I just can't see trashing a coach for losing to a solid team. Especially, considering that when healthy the team has beat several other top ten schools. I see it sometimes on these boards with the Stanford fans. I guess its easy to trash another school when you have not played the school or don't know anything about that team.
     
    #46
  47. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    Dancer needs to figure how to keep players and get them ready for matches. He has admitted as much. Maybe that's just him being humble.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
    #47
  48. vandre

    vandre Hall of Fame

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    the guys named anderson, delic and ram weren't brought in by dancer? they were brought in before him, right?
     
    #48
  49. IlliniSky

    IlliniSky Rookie

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    Right. Those players were brought in by Tiley. Dancer hasn't done much at all in recruiting. He's also not a very good match coach. That's why they're on a downward spiral.

    And the present AD had nothing to do with hiring Craig Tiley. The coach before him left town so he put Tiley on an "interim" basis while he looked for a new coach. Craig turned out to be better than he thought so he was lucky. We can't count on the present AD to do anything about the situation. You have to wonder how far Illinois tennis is going to go down.
     
    #49
  50. Lefty Spin

    Lefty Spin Rookie

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    IlliniSky, I guess we have to agree to disagree on this one. I think Brad has done a good job. Under his leadership, Illinois has gone to three Sweet 16s and one NCAA team final. Also, he clearly helped develop Anderson and DeHeart's game. Nevelo has also really improved at Illinois. Obviously, Craig Tiley did a great job at Illinois but I hope you remember where the program was before Tiley. Remember the old saying about coaching when it comes to replacing a legend. Just because he has not reached Tiley's success does not mean he is a terrible coach. I suspect if everyone gets healthy, they will make the Sweet 16 and then it really depends on the draw.
     
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