#24 Illini Sweep Doubleheader on Friday
Jan. 18, 2013
URBANA, Ill. - The 24th-ranked Fighting Illini women's tennis team (2-1) cruised to a pair of wins on Friday, downing Illinois State (0-1) and Western Illinois (0-1) in home-opening action at the Atkins Tennis Center. The Orange and Blue captured a quick 5-1 victory over the Redbirds and followed it up with a 7-0 shutout against WIU. Both matches featured experimental formats, as encouraged by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
"I think it was an exciting time with the experimental formats," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "I'm really proud of all of my girls. They hopefully gained some confidence today, and we're definitely fired up for the Irish on Sunday."
In the first match, the 11th-ranked duo of senior Rachael White and Melissa Kopinski put Illinois on the board with a convincing 6-1, 6-1 win over ISU's Phyllis Tigges and Sarah Paulson, giving the Illini a 2-0 advantage with four singles matches remaining under the unique scoring format.
Junior Misia Kedzierski took down Stephanie Youngberg, 6-0, 6-4, at the No. 4 spot, while junior Allison Falkin, who is ranked 59th in the nation, sealed the Illini victory with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Emmie Marx at the top spot. Senior Breanne Smutko added a 6-4, 6-3 win over Carolina Abello to give Illinois a 5-1 win in its home opener.
In the second contest, the Orange and Blue won the traditional doubles point, posting 8-0 wins over Western Illinois at Nos. 1 and 3. Each of the Illini won in straight sets, and the team dropped only two games throughout the entire dual match. Freshman Emily Barretta was one of four Illini to win 6-0, 6-0, taking down Holly Conlin at the No. 6 spot in her collegiate debut.
"I'm really happy for Emily, getting her first set of wins as an Illini," Dasso said. "I'm so proud of her and what she has done to get here, graduating early. It really shows a lot about her character and how passionate she is about wanting to be part of this program. She has already grown in the two weeks she has been here. She is coachable and a true competitor."
The afternoon match with Illinois State featured four singles matches and one doubles match played simultaneously. Each singles match was worth one point, and the lone doubles match was worth two points. Each of the four singles matches and the doubles match were best of three sets with no-ad scoring.
The nightcap was played like a traditional dual match (three eight-game doubles matches in a best-of-three format for one doubles point, followed by six singles matches worth one point apiece) but with no-ad scoring.
The Orange and Blue will return to action on Sunday, squaring off with No. 19 Notre Dame at Noon at the Atkins Tennis Center.
Illinois 5, Illinois State 1
Order of finish: Doubles (1); Singles (4,3,1,2)
Illinois 7, Western Illinois 0
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (3,5,4,2,6,1)