URBANA (WCIA) — Illinois is moving on the second round of the NCAA Tournament after their 4-1 win against DePaul. The Blue Demons started strong in doubles, sweeping the Illini 2-0.
But Illinois was able to reset, and take the rest of the points from there.
Hunter Heck won the very first point for the Illini , Zeke Clark followed and Noe Khlif won the final match winning point to send Illinois on to play Notre Dame on Saturday. Head coach Brad Dancer told me after the match he didn’t have any second thoughts about their confidence, even after the slow start.
“We’re a good team, we’re really strong,” says Dancer. “But obviously these are division one tennis teams that want to beat the Illini really badly. It’s going to be a fight no matter what, I’m happy my guys were able to get through this one today.”
Illinois will play Notre Dame on Saturday after the Fighting Irish beat Western Michigan earlier on Friday 4-1 at the Atkins Tennis Center. If Illinois wins it’d be the first time moving past the second round since 2018. That match starts at 1 pm.