Four Illini Advance At ITA All-American

<b>Chattanooga, TN -</b> Illinois' freshman Monte Tucker improved to 4-0 on the Illinois men's tennis season advancing in the pre-qualifying rounds with three other Orange and Blue members at the Icy Hot/ITA All-American Tournament today in Chattanooga, Tenn. Tucker is only the third Illinois freshman since 1997 to start the fall season 4-0.

"I am pleased with the resiliency they showed today in the close matches," Dancer said. "Three of our four guys went to tiebreakers, which shows they really stepped it up when the pressure was on. I don't think there is anybody right now (for us) that can't show more improvement tomorrow, but the key is that they stay hungry and are willing to do whatever it takes to advance."

Tucker, ranked No. 121 and No. 68 Pramod Dabir quickly earned two victories representing the Illini in morning action. Dabir toppled Virginia Tech's Stephane Rod 6-2, 7-6 (2) to earn his first victory on the young season. Tucker breezed through his first set winning 6-2 and then took the match with a 7-6 (2) second set victory.

In the afternoon, No. 95 Ryler DeHeart and No. 111 GD Jones were also victorious. DeHeart improved to 4-0 after defeating Oregon's Aaron Spencer, 6-0, 6-3. Jones claimed his third win this year by beating Alex Schweizer of Auburn, 7-6 (5), 7-5.

The only Illini doubles combo competing in the qualifying today was Dabir and Tucker, who fell short in their first ever match together 8-4 to David Kowalski and Ryan Stotland of New Mexico.

With victories tomorrow, Dabir, DeHeart, Jones and Tucker can join junior Chris Martin in the singles main draw, which starts Thursday. DeHeart and Jones will compete at 11 a.m CST in doubles on Thursday.

Story courtesy the University of Illinois

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