The Illinois State University men’s tennis team found success this weekend at the Redbird Invitational in Bloomington. 

The tournament was broken up into three days of action that took place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

On the first day of action, ISU went 3-0 in doubles and 4-1 in singles. One of the more notable results was from Redbird freshman Nam Pham, who recorded his first college win over Eastern Illinois junior Gage Kingsmith. Pham also won his first doubles match alongside junior Pol Botifoll Rius when they defeated Kingsmith and Riera. 

“Today went very well as we won every match we played except one,” head coach Mark Klysnersaid. “Big congrats to Nam on winning his first college singles and doubles match.”

Day One  

Diego Herrera/ Aleksa Lazarevic beat SLU Badaiantis/Heiden 6-3 

Nam Pham/ Pol Botifoll Rius beat EIU Kingsmith/Riera6-4 

Brandon Lew/ Zacharias Rankloo Rasmusson beat EIU Burton/Camfield6-3 

Diego Herrera beat SLU Badaiantis  6-1,7-5 

SLU Heiden beat ISU Aleksa Lazarevic2-6,6-4,10-8 

Nam Pham beat EIU Kingsmith6-3,6-3 

Pol Botifoll Rius beat EIU Riera6-1,6-1 

Brandon Lew beat EIU Camfield6-0,6-0

Day 2 included three flights of doubles.Pham and BotifollRius won their flight after a final match over DePaul’s Lars PederMinsaas (freshman) and Luuk Wassenaar (junior). 

“It worked out, we had a couple of guys who actually won their flight,” Klysner said, “So that’s always nice, to do that at home.” 

Day Two  

(DePaul) Tuff/Zador def. Herrera/Lazarevic 6-4 

(Butler) Trimpe/Karr def. Pham/Botifoll 6-4 

(DePaul) Tuff def. Herrera 6-2,3-6, 10-7 

(DePaul) Zador def. Lazarevic 5-7,6-4, 10-4 

Pham def. (Butler) Trimpe 6-1,6-3 

Botifoll def. (Butler) Karr 2-6,6-3,10-6 

(CSU) Plaza/Suler def. Herrera/Lazarevic 6-2 

Pham/Botifoll def. (DePaul) Wassenaar/Minsaas 6-4

Day three saw Pham win his flight against Depaul’s Wassenaar7-6, 4-6, 10-7. 

“What a great tournament it was,” Klysner said, “I am proud of how we played and felt like we ended … with a lot of improvement. I do want to give a shoutout to our freshman phenom, Nam Pham, who won his finals match which clinched the tournament title for him and Pol. I can’t wait to see what this team can accomplish in the spring.” 

Day Three 

(CSU) Plaza def. Herrera 6-2, Retired 

(CSU) Suler def. Lazarevic 6-2, 6-2 

Pham def. (DePaul) Wassenaar 7-6,4-6,10-7 

(DePaul) Minsaas def. Botifoll Rius 6-2, 7-6

The Redbird Invitational is a useful early-season test for ISU. 

“We do this tournament to help some guys get some matches in the fall,” Klysner said. “It’s tough to find matches for some of the guys who were hurt, in our case, we had some guys who were injured and needed matches.” 

The team will make necessary adjustments before slogging through the winter and spring schedule. 

“I think it taught a lot of guys where we need to be in the spring, what we need to work on,” Klysner said. “That’s always a constant education to try to teach these guys and coach them up and get them ready for April when it really matters.” 

Only half of ISU’s team played, but Klysner looked for his team to coach in their downtime. 

“Half the team played, half the team didn’t play, so we gave them the opportunity to kind of put themselves in the coaching mindset,” Klysner said. “And really kind of analyze their teammates playing. We had a couple of guys who actually went out and were coaching on the court, and they learned a lot, so overall I think it was a very beneficial weekend.” 

ISU will start the spring season on Jan. 15 against Northwestern in Evanston. 

MATT KALINOWSKI is a Sports Reporter for The Vidette. He can be contacted at mjkali1@ilstu.edu Follow him on Twitter at @mattkalinowski8


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