Marquette Falls To No. 9 Illniois, 4-0, In NCAAs
May 12, 2018
The Marquette University men's tennis team (17-7) saw its 2017-18 campaign come to an end with a 4-0 loss to No. 9 Illinois (22-7) Saturday afternoon in the opening round of the 2018 NCAA Championships in Urbana, Ill.
The Golden Eagles, who claimed the BIG EAST Championship on April 29 and the league's automatic bid to the NCAAs, were making their first-ever appearance in the tournament.
The Fighting Illini opened the match by claiming the doubles point, earning wins at the No. 3 (6-1) and No. 2 (6-3) positions. MU, which started slowly on all three courts, managed to close the gap to 4-3 at No. 1 and No. 2 at the same time, but was unable to push past Illinois.
The Fighting Illini continued momentum into singles play and collected a trio of straight-set wins to earn the team victory and advance to play Vanderbilt on Sunday afternoon in the second round.
The loss marked the conclusion of senior Scott Christian's career. Christian teamed up with sophomore Luke Smrek at No. 3 doubles for a majority of the dual campaign, but Marquette will return the rest of its lineup in 2018-19.
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