There was some high-level and ultra-competitive tennis happening Friday afternoon at the Margot V. Biermann Center between Hillsdale College and the University of Illinois-Springfield. And in the end, it was the Prairie Stars who won by a very thin margin.
UIS defeated Hillsdale 4-3 in a regional matchup, dropping the Chargers to 7-2 on the season.
The match was tied 3-3 when Gabe Katz was battling Matthew Lapsley to decide the match. Katz appeared to be suffering from severe cramps through most of the match. He had already played a tiebreaker doubles match, and now was hobbled in a critical match. Despite his cramps, Katz fought bravely, playing with tons of heart before ultimately losing a 7-6 (7-1), 2-6, 6-2 match.
The duo of John Ciraci and Brian Hackman enjoyed a terrific day on the courts. They won their matchup at No. 2 doubles 6-3. Individually, Ciraci was a 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 victor at No. 3 singles. Hackman also emerged a winner at No. 6 singles 6-4, 6-1.
Michael Szabo won a marathon match of his own at No. 4 singles, rallying from a 7-6 loss in the opening set to post wins of 6-3 and 6-2.
PHOTO: Todd Lancaster