`Birds win Conference Finale
April 24, 2005
NORMAL, Ill. - Alban Renard won his tenth straight singles match as he led the Illinois State men's tennis team to victory Sunday in its conference finale over Southern Illinois. The `Birds beat the Salukis 7-0 at the McCormick Courts to up their season record to 9-10, and their conference record to 3-4.
Renard, who has not lost a conference singles match since March 28, 2004, continued his impressive assault as he dropped Lukasz Soswa in straight sets (6-3, 6-2) at the No. 6 position. Renard also teamed up with Luka Marinkovic at the No. 3 doubles position and downed the duo of Alexandru Nomicos and Sergio Sanchez (8-4).
Head coach Greg Kennett has enjoyed Renard's play all year long.
"Alban has played great tennis all year for us," said Kennett. "He goes out every match expecting to win, and he is doing that right now. He is playing with great confidence."
In other singles action, Guillermo Gomez won for the first time in four tries as he dropped Nomicos at the No. 1 position (6-3, 6-4). Djordje Uskokovic won for the second straight match as he downed Rodrigo Lama (6-3, 7-6(2)) at the No. 2 position. At the No. 3 spot, Yohann Nograbat won for the first time in four matches, as he dropped Sanchez in straight sets (6-4, 6-3). Marinkovic and Alfredo Lagarda, also won their singles matches.
In doubles action Uskokovic and Ben pettinari teamed up at the No. 1 position and upped their season record to 13-5, by downing Bojan Ilievski 8-6. At the No. 2 spot, Tim link and Gomez dropped Lama and Tomas Gonzalez (8-3).
Next weekend the `Birds will travel to Creighton to take part in the Missouri Valley Conference Team Championships. Times have yet to be determined.