April 19, 2012
CHICAGO – Returning from its first Horizon League win, the UIC men’s tennis team (3-14/1-5 HL) gets set for its final matches of the dual season. The Flames are scheduled to host Northern Illinois (19-7) in a non-conference match on Senior Day on Friday at 3 p.m. (CT) at the Flames Outdoor Tennis Courts, before hitting the road to face Valparaiso (8-13/0-6 HL) on Saturday at 3 p.m. (CT) at the Valpo Tennis Complex.
UIC is coming back to competition after going 1-1 against Cleveland State and Youngstown State on Saturday, April 14, and Sunday, April 15, respectively. The Flames fell to the Vikings, 6-1, but came away from the Penguins in a 4-3 decision to take their first Horizon League win of the season.
Going up against CSU, UIC dropped the three doubles matches before heading into singles where Alan Reifer took the lone victory for the Flames. Reifer defeated Ali Shabib, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 3, while James Li, Maurizio Feoli and Rahul Kamath went to three sets in each of their matches before falling to their respective opponents.
The Flames were able sweep YSU in doubles. Kamath and Alexander Raa took down Tariq Ismail and Dawoud Kabli, 8-5, at No. 1 and Feoli and Reifer captured No. 2 over Rodrigo Campos and Victor Theorin, 8-6, as Scott Shepardson and Nate Kirk downed Zeeshan Ismail and Silviu Mistreanu in an 8-4 decision at No. 3.
In singles, Li, Raa and Feoli came away with the wins. Li took down T. Ismail, 6-1, 7-5, at No. 1, Raa battled through a tiebreaker to defeat Kabli, 6-4, 7-6 (4), at No. 3 and Feoli went up against Max Schmerin at No. 4 and took a 6-4, 6-2 match win.
UIC last faced NIU during the 2009-10 season and came out on top of the Huskies, 4-3. Before facing the Flames on Friday, NIU takes on Chicago State at 10 a.m. (CT). The Huskies went 1-1 in their last set of matches against MAC conference-foes, defeating Toledo, 5-2, on April 14 and falling to Buffalo, 5-2, on April 15. Prior to facing off with NIU, the Flames are set to honor their senior duo of Kirk and Shepardson.
After taking a 4-3 win on April 18 over Aquinas, Valparaiso is still looking for its first Horizon League win, after going 0-6 against conference opponents. When meeting with the Crusaders over the past 10 seasons, the Flames have come out on top of the matches, including last season’s 5-2 defeat.