Huskers Host Pair of Weekend Matches

# 53 Illinois Fighting Illini (9-11) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-13)
Friday, April 8 at 5 pm CT
Dillon Tennis Center (Lincoln, Neb.)
Live Stats: http://sidearmstats.com/nebraska/mtennis/xlive.htm
Live Video: https://huskers.com/sports/2019/1/28/211695063.aspx?id=2120

# 26 Northwestern Wildcats (13-7) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-13)
Sunday, April 10 at Noon CT
Dillon Tennis Center (Lincoln, Neb.)
Live Stats: http://sidearmstats.com/nebraska/mtennis/xlive.htm
Live Video: https://huskers.com/sports/2019/1/28/211695063.aspx?id=2120

The Nebraska men’s tennis team is coming off its second conference loss last weekend against No. 63 Wisconsin, 4-3. The Huskers will host a pair of Big Ten matches this weekend as they welcome ranked Illinois and Northwestern teams.

Live streams and stats are available in the links provided above. Updates will be posted to Huskers.com and @HuskerMTennis on Twitter.

Scouting Illinois
• The Fighting Illini enter Friday’s matchup with an 9-11 record, having won three of their last four matchups. They boast a 2-2 conference record.
• Illinois has two players on the ITA Top-125 Singles Rankings List: (No. 51 Olivier Stuart, No. 74 Hunter Heck) and two teams on the ITA Top-90 Doubles Rankings List: (No. 57 Hunter Heck / Lucas Horve , No. 64 Siphosothando Montsi / Olivier Stuart, No. 68 Alex Brown / Gabrielius Guzauskas).
• Hunter Heck was recently named Big Ten Athlete of the Week, after singles wins over Michigan and Butler. He is 11-4 on the season in singles and 7-9 in doubles with partner Lucas Horve.

Northwestern Scouting
• The Wildcats enter Friday’s matchup with a 13-7 record, but have dropped three of their last five matchups. They also boast a 2-2 conference record.
• Northwestern has one player on the ITA Top-125 Singles Rankings List: (No. 36 Steve Forman, No. 94 Simen Bratholm, No. 118 Trace Pickens) and one team on the ITA Top-90 Doubles Rankings List: (No. 58 Steven Forman / Felix Nordby):
• They hold wins over several ranked teams including Memphis, Louisville, North Carolina, Duke, Princeton, and Oregon.
• Trice Pickens leads the team with eleven wins, holding an 11-3 record in singles play. He has competed primarily in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots for the Wildcats.

Series History
• The Fighting Illini hold a 10-0 advantage over the Huskers, taking the last two matches in sweeps.
• Nebraska is 0-11 against Northwestern, and this marks the third straight meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska.
• Although the Huskers have never defeated the Wildcats, they took them to the limit last season in the Big Ten Championships, falling just short, 4-2.

Up Next
• The Huskers will hit the road for a pair of away conference matches against Purdue on April 16 at Noon CT and Indiana on April 17 at Noon CT.

Hietaranta Continues Strong 2022 Campaign
Roni Hietaranta started the year off strong, winning his first six singles matches to begin the season with a 6-0 record. Dating back to the fall, he now has 15 total singles wins which marks the most on the team thus far.
• On Jan. 25, Hietaranta was named Big Ten Co-Athlete of the Week after singles wins over Baylor and Oklahoma. He knocked off the No. 54 ranked singles competitor in the nation, defeating Oklahoma’s Jordan Hasson, 6-4, 7-5. The Lappeenranta, Finland native also defeated Baylor’s Cole Gromley in the No. 6 spot, 6-1, 6-3.
• Three weeks ago, Hietaranta rallied back from a 4-2 hole to knock off Wichita State’s Orel Ovil and clinch the victory for the Huskers. He won the singles match against Ovil 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Last weekend, he knocked off Princeton’s Filippos Astreinidis in consecutive sets to push his spring record to 7-3.
• Following a short injury stint, he returned against UCF and won in the No. 6 spot, 6-3, 6-3, to give him eight wins in the spring.

Maruyama Shines In Singles and Doubles Play
Shunya Maruyama ranks second on the Huskers with 14 total wins, and he holds a 7-7 spring record. Four of his wins by him have come in the No. 3 and No. 6 spots.
• He has been victorious in six of his last ten completed matches, including singles victories in matches against UCF and Cornell.
• After leading the Huskers in wins last season, he has carried over momentum to this campaign and has been a consistent force for Nebraska in the middle of the lineup.
Dario Huber and Maruyama entered the ITA Top-90 Doubles Rankings List at No. 86 with a 5-3 spring record.

Lozano Holding Down Back Half Of Lineup
Victor Moreno Lozano ranks second on the Huskers with eight spring wins, as he holds an 8-4 spring record. All of his wins of him have come in the No. 5 and No. 6 spots.
• He has been victorious in seven of his last ten completed matches, including singles victories in matches against Oregon, Michigan State and Wisconsin.
• He has also competed with Nic Wiedenhorn in the No. 1 spot for doubles, notching back-to-back wins in matches against Michigan State and Wisconsin.

Tough Schedule
• Nebraska has matched up against 10, top 75 teams in its first 18 games to begin the spring season. They lost to No. 2 Baylor at home, 6-1, and No. 24 Oklahoma on the road, 5-2 earlier in the year.
• In the Blue-Gray National Classic, they dropped matches to both No. 29 Princeton and No. 25 Auburn. Nebraska recently lost to No. 19 Pepperdine before taking part in the Pacific Coast Doubles Championships this past weekend.
• The Huskers got their first ranked win of the season as they knocked off No. 48 UCF on the road, 4-3.

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