Dino Bilankov and Sebastian Gallego each won in singles and nearly pulled an upset in doubles, but Minnesota lost to 17th-ranked Illinois 5-2 in a Big Ten men’s tennis match on Friday at the Baseline Tennis Center.
Bilankov cruised to a 6-3, 6-0 win at No. 4 singles over Illinois’ Billy Heisler, who is ranked 103rd among all collegiate tennis players. Gallego pulled out a three-set win at No. 3 singles, winning a third-set super-tiebreaker for a 6-4, 2-6, (11-9) victory over Marc Spicijaric.
Bilankov and Gallego also took the nation’s eighth-ranked doubles team, Heisler and Ryan Rowe, to a tiebreaker before losing 7-5.
Tobias Wernet had a solid No. 2 singles effort against Rowe, who is ranked 13th nationally. Rowe closed the first set by winning the last three games and then won four of the last five games of the second set for a 6-3, 6-3 victory.
One match featured a pair of ranked opponents as 53rd-ranked Ruben Gonzales of Illinois beat 92nd-ranked Raoul Schwark 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1 singles.
Minnesota is now 5-16 overall and 3-6 in the Big Ten. The Gophers conclude their regular season by hosting Purdue on Sunday at noon. Illinois is 15-7 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten.
Illinois 5, Minnesota 2
Doubles (Illinois wins doubles point)
1. Billy Heiser/Ryan Rowe (ILL) def. Dino Bilankov/Sebastian Gallego (MINN) 8-7 (7-5)
2. Ruben Gonzales/Marc Spicijaric (ILL) def. Chi Pham/Tobias Wernet (MINN) 8-4
3. Waylon Chin/Brandon Davis (ILL) def. Raoul Schwark/Pierre Dumas (MINN) 8-1
Order of finish 3,2,1
1. Ruben Gonzales (ILL) def. Raoul Schwark (MINN) 6-2, 6-3
2. Ryan Rowe (ILL) leads Tobias Wernet (MINN) 6-3, 6-3
3. Sebastian Gallego (MINN) def. Marc Spicijaric (ILL) 6-4, 2-6, (11-9)
4. Dino Bilankov (MINN) def. Billy Heiser (ILL) 6-3, 6-0
5. Waylon Chin (ILL) def. Chi Pham (MINN) 6-4, 6-1
6. Connor Roth (ILL) def. Pierre Dumas (MINN) 6-2, 6-1
Order of finish: 4,6,1,5,2,3