Breanne Smutko clinched the dual win with a straight-set victory on court five.
Feb. 22, 2013
URBANA, Ill. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team (5-4) cruised to a 6-1 win over Syracuse (4-6) Friday night at the Atkins Tennis Center. With the victory, Illinois extended its winning streak to three matches.
"It was an excellent win for us today," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "We were impressive in doubles, cruising at all three positions. I think our athleticism showed today and that we came in prepared. The last two weeks, we looked ahead and knew we were playing two very athletic teams this weekend. The girls were vocal, energetic, fiery and competitive. I'm really proud of all of them across the board."
The Illini got off to a strong start in doubles play, claiming their third straight doubles point. Senior Rachael White and sophomore Melissa Kopinski, the 21st-ranked duo in the nation, finished first with an 8-4 win over Maddie Kobelt and Aleah Marrow on court one. Senior Breanne Smutko and freshman Audrey O'Connor followed with an 8-2 victory over Komal Safdar and Brittany Lashway at the No. 2 spot to give the Illini a 1-0 lead going into singles.
No. 106 Kopinski kept the momentum going with a quick 6-4, 6-0 win to take down Amanda Rodgers at the top spot. No. 119 Allison Falkin added a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Jimena Wu on court three, while Smutko clinched the Illini win with a 7-6(2), 6-1 victory over Marrow on court five.
Junior Misia Kedzierski and O'Connor claimed wins on courts five and six, respectively, to give Illinois its 6-1 victory.
"I'm excited going into Sunday," Dasso said. "Doubles will be key, but we have a huge advantage playing in front of our home crowd. Our girls did a great job of feeding off the energy of the crowd tonight. The fans were invested in every point, and I think if they bring that same energy on Sunday, they could make it very difficult for Oklahoma."
The Orange and Blue will be back in action on Sunday, taking on the Sooners at Noon CT at the Atkins Tennis Center.
#34 Illinois 6, Syracuse 1
1. #106 Melissa Kopinski (ILL) def. Amanda Rodgers (SYR) 6-4, 6-0
2. Maddie Kobelt (SYR) def. Rachael White (ILL) 6-7, 6-2, 6-4
3. #119 Allison Falkin (ILL) def. Jimena Wu (SYR) 6-4, 6-1
4. Misia Kedzierski (ILL) def. Komal Safdar (SYR) 6-3, 7-6(5)
5. Breanne Smutko (ILL) def. Aleah Marrow (SYR) 7-6(2), 6-1
6. Audrey O'Connor (ILL) def. Breanna Bachini (SYR) 7-5, 7-5
1. #21 Rachael White/Melissa Kopinski (ILL) def. Maddie Kobelt/Aleah Marrow (SYR) 8-4
2. Breanne Smutko/Audrey O'Connor (ILL) def. Komal Safdar/Brittany Lashway (SYR) 8-2
3. Allison Falkin/Misia Kedzierski (ILL) vs. Jimena Wu/Sophia Dzulynsky (SYR) 6-2, unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,3,5,4,6,2)