Tennis Talk with Allison Falkin: 2nd Edition

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Tennis Talk takes fans behind the scenes of the Illini women's tennis team. In the second edition, sophomore Allison Falkin gives fans an inside look at the team's trip to the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional.

Hey there Illini fans! It's great to be back talking with you again!  Lots of big things are happening with the Illinois women's tennis team these days, and I can't wait to share them with you!

We just recently returned from Ohio State, where we all traveled for our big Regional Tournament. This tournament consisted of players from

Ohio State, Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Akron, Bowling Green, Cleveland State, DePaul, Detroit Mercy, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, UIC, IPFW, Notre Dame, Toledo and Western Michigan.

All the Illini fought hard and had some great battles against many of our Big Ten foes! Melissa Kopinski and Rachael White made it to the semifinals of the doubles draw before falling to a tough Notre Dame team, while Amy Allin and Marisa "Mish" Lambropoulos made a good run to the Round of 16 in the singles draw.  Everyone else had good, competitive matches as well, taking out a total of five Wildcats, two Buckeyes and a Wolverine! The Big Ten better get ready for the Illini come spring!

Meanwhile, Misia Kedzierski won her first tournament back (after injury), as she competed hard at NIU. So big Illini!

During the tournament, a few personal discoveries were made. Mel was given another nickname of Bill, as the people at Jimmy John's accidentally labeled her sandwich as Bill instead of Mel. (She is already called Bruiser due to her easily bruising skin and tendency to wear black and blue together.) Also, we found out that Julia has ESP: she can predict the future! Although, unfortunately, she doesn't know when she will and won't be able to do it. It reminds me of the Disney show "That's So Raven," where Raven has visions from the future that pop into her head at unexpected times.

Following the tournament, we had an enlightening car ride home, full of group discussion and personal questions. We learned a lot of new, interesting tidbits about one another. We also had a "play-your-favorite-song-for-the-group" game.  Each one of us picked our three favorite songs of all time, shared them, then carefully selected one to play for the car. This took up a good 30 minutes of our four-and-a-half-hour car ride. You're never bored when you're an Illini!

Special Talents of Illini Women's Tennis Team Discovered Within Past Year:

Chelcie - sneezing on command

Amy - thinking she can sing like Christina Aguilera

Misia - rapping Nikki Minaj songs and talking like Stitch from "Lilo and Stitch"

Mish - discretely tripping people and never getting caught with pranks

Bre - doing puzzles ridiculously quickly

Rach - going cross-eyed

Me - everything (ha just kidding); rapping

Julia - predicting the future

Mel - opening bananas like a monkey (ASK HER! SHE'LL TEACH YOU!)

I'd say we're a pretty talented team, eh?

Well, that's about all I have for right now! We will be leaving for our next tournament at Purdue on Thursday, Nov. 3.  So, until then, keep it real Illini!

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