Redbirds Dominate Against Creighton, 7-0
Jordan Badenko
Jordan Badenko
The Illinois State men's tennis team hosted its first outdoor match of the season against Creighton Friday at the Gregory Street Tennis Courts in Normal, Ill. The Redbirds had a perfect match, beating Creighton, 7-0.

This was the first perfect match for the `Birds, all year.

"I think we were consistent today," said head coach Cris James. "We came out with good energy and focus. Some guys played really well while other guys just played okay, but our focus was really good, overall, which probably was the main thing that lead to our success."

Competition began well in doubles play with a win by Tuomas Manner and Willi Peter in the No. 2 spot against Ryan Norman and Billy Paluch, 8-2. The first point of the match was given to the `Birds as Skip Span and Jordan Badenko beat Elliot Baker and Sean Mathison, 8-6, in the No. 3 position. Alexander Pelaez and Jusso Ojanen finished strong in doubles action as well, coming out on top in the No. 1 spot against J.T. Christian and Kyle Obermeier, 9-7.

The success continued in singles play as Peter beat Gabe Naggy in the No.5 position, 6-2, 6-0, and Ojanen came out on top against Sean Mathison in the No. 4 spot, 6-1, 6-3. Manner had the fourth victory of the day, beating J.T. Christian in the No. 2 position, 6-4, 6-2, sealing the win for the Redbirds. Pelaez and Span were the next two to continue the perfect match for the `Birds, as Pelaez beat Billy Paluch in the No. 1 spot, 7-5, 6-2, and Span came out on top against Kyle Obermeier in the No. 3 position, 6-2, 7-6. Badenko concluded the match with a victory over Elliot Baker in the No. 6 spot, 1-6, 6-1, 6-0.

James believes today's win will give his players the confidence they need to take on Drake.

"Drake is a very good team so we're going to have to play well," said James. "We are going to have to play at a high level and I think we will definitely need that consistent focus that we had today."

The `Birds will be back in action for their second home match of the weekend Saturday against Drake at the Gregory Street Tennis Courts. There will be free food provided for fans as well as prizes. Play is set to begin at 1 p.m. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.