Illini Suffer 4-1 Loss to #25 Vanderbilt in ITA Kick-Off Action
Jan. 27, 2013
OXFORD, Miss. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team (2-3) suffered a 4-1 loss to No. 25 Vanderbilt (1-0) Sunday in the opening round of ITA Kick-Off Weekend, hosted by Ole Miss. Sophomore Melissa Kopinski picked up Illinois' lone point with a straight-set win at the No. 1 spot.
"We have to figure out a way to get on the board early by securing the doubles point," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "In college tennis, getting that early edge can really make a statement and set the tone for the singles matches."
Illinois lost the doubles point for the second straight match, falling at Nos. 1 and 2. Juniors Allison Falkin and Misia Kedzierski had a 7-5 lead at the No. 3 spot when Vanderbilt clinched the point. The Illini are 0-3 when losing in doubles.
The Orange and Blue did not recover in singles play, dropping straight-set matches on courts two and three. No. 106 Kopinski captured a 7-6(4), 6-1 win over No. 91 Marie Casares to prevent the shutout and earn her second straight victory at the top spot.
The Commodores responded with a quick two-set win on court five to seal the dual victory and advance to Monday's ITA Kick-Off championship match.
"Misia played extremely well today in both singles and doubles, and I hope to see a consistent performance from her tomorrow as well," Dasso said. "Melissa is gaining confidence with each singles win at the top spot, but we have to do better tomorrow."
The Illini will return to the court tomorrow at 8 a.m. CT to take on either No. 19 Ole Miss or Yale in consolation play.
#25 Vanderbilt 4, #27 Illinois 1
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,3,1,5)