March 4, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The No. 29 University of Notre Dame men's tennis team returns home to Eck Tennis Pavilion at 6 p.m. Tuesday for a key national matchup with No. 17 Illinois.
The Irish and the Fighting Illini have been a part of some incredible battles throughout the years as Notre Dame holds a slim 23-22 edge in the all-time series. Since 1989 Illinois has a 15-14 advantage. Last year the Irish lost a heartbreaker, 4-3, in Champaign.
Illinois (6-3) is coming off a 5-2 win over Northwestern at home. Other impressive home wins include a pair of 4-3 victories over No. 5 Duke and No. 7 Kentucky. The squad's three losses came at the hands of then-No. 19 Tennessee twice, 4-0 and 4-0, and No. 24 Tulsa, 4-2. Leading the Fighting Illini are three ranked singles players in No. 38 Jared Hiltzik (7-1), No. 113 Tim Kopinski (4-2) and No. 118 Ross Guignon (5-1).
The Irish (7-5) are coming off a 5-2 victory at No. 59 Wisconsin Sunday. Notre Dame picked up its fourth ranked win of the year with the victory over the Badgers. After dropping doubles and No. 4 singles to fall behind 2-0, the Irish rebounded to claim the final five singles contests to earn the come-from-behind win.
Sitting at 4-2 in the friendly confines of the Eck Tennis Pavilion, the matchup against the Illini will be the last at home until No. 2 USC comes calling March 20.
Fans can follow the match through live stats with a link provided on UND.com. Live match updates will also be available on Twitter (@NDMensTennis).
For fans in attendance, free Papa Johns pizza will be provided while supplies last.
The Irish next head to the elite Blue Gray National Tennis Classic for Spring Break March 15-17.