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    2012 Big Ten Men's Tennis Tournament Recap: Day Three

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM The Big Ten Tournament championship match will be held Sunday at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center.
    The Big Ten Tournament championship match will be held Sunday at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center.

    April 28, 2012

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Saturday's slate at the 2012 Big Ten Men's Tennis Tournament featured a quartet of talented teams duking it out for a pair of spots in the Sunday's tournament final.

    No. 1 Ohio State 4, No. 5 Indiana 1 The first match of the day featured the top-seeded, twice-beaten Ohio State Buckeyes and a team looking to win its third tilt in as many days, the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana, the No. 5 seed, seized the momentum early on by jumping all over the Buckeyes in doubles play. At No. 2 for the Hoosiers, Alastair Barnes and Josh MacTaggart upset the 31st-ranked tandem of Ille Van Engelen and Devin McCarthy, 8-5. Feeding off the energy from its frenzied fan base, IU's Stephen Vogl and Will Kendall took down OSU's Peter Kobelt and Connor Smith, also by an 8-5 score.

    Playing from behind for only the third time this season, Ohio State was undaunted as singles play began. Chase Buchanan, the nation's 11th-ranked singles player had little trouble in putting away Isade Juneau, 6-1, 6-2, while No. 6 Blaz Rola outlasted No. 79 MacTaggart of IU, 6-4, 6-2, to give the Buckeyes their first lead of the morning.

    Kobelt won at the No. 3 position over Jeremy Langer to extend the lead to two points, but the clinching point was much harder to come by. Eventually, Connor Smith buried Dimitrije Tasic, but he needed a tiebreaker in the second set to do it. Smith won, 6-1, 7-6 (4) to give the Buckeyes a 4-1 win, earning a spot in the Big Ten Tournament Championship match Sunday.

    No. 3 Illinois 4, No. 2 Michigan 0 Like in the opening match of the day, the second showdown saw the lower seed jump ahead by gaining the coveted doubles point. No. 3 Illinois when ahead first when its top team of Dennis Nevolo and Roy Kalmanovich, ranked No. 28 in the country by the ITA, defeated UM's Evan King and Shaun Bernstein, 8-4. Meanwhile, Illinois' No. 2 team of Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon were able to overcome a narrow deficit to blow past Alex Buzzi and Barrett Franks of the Wolverines, 8-5, to grab the first team point.



    With a standing-room-only crowd pushing the teams to play their best, both teams played brilliantly during the singles portion. Illinois got its second point from the No. 5 position, where Stephen Hoh beat Franks, 6-4, 7-5. Moments later, another one of Illinois' singles specialists, Bruno Abdelnour, fought his way to a straight-set victory against Bernstein at No. 3, 6-3, 6-4.

    With a 3-0 lead, Illinois had chances on a few different courts to clinch the match. In the end, it was No. 4 Tim Kopinski who sealed the win when he defeated UM's Michael Zhu, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

    Up Tomorrow No. 1 Ohio State and No. 3 Illinois will square off on the South Courts at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center at noon to determine the Big Ten Tournament champion for 2012. n the event of inclement weather, indoor matches will be held at the Combe Tennis Center. Stay tuned to and follow @NU_Sports on Twitter for the latest updates.


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