Senior Breanne Smutko claimed a three-set win Friday night to put Illinois on the board.
March 9, 2013
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team (6-6, 0-2 Big Ten) suffered its second straight loss to a top-10 opponent, dropping a 6-1 decision to No. 10 Nebraska (13-1, 3-0) Friday night at the Nebraska Tennis Center. Senior Breanne Smutko came from behind to capture Illinois' lone singles win, helping the Illini avoid a shutout.
"I was incredibly proud of our team's spirit and effort tonight," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "We had seven driven individuals who put everything they had on the line. We came up short tonight, and that's the essence of sports sometimes. Even though we didn't come out on the winning side, confidence and belief in each other was gained."
Illinois lost the first two completed doubles matches to give up its second consecutive doubles point. Sophomore Melissa Kopinski and senior Rachael White, who are currently ranked 22nd in the nation, were locked in a 7-7 battle with No. 13 Mary Weatherholt and Patricia Veresova on court one when the Cornhuskers clinched.
The Orange and Blue could not rebound in singles, dropping the first five matches to go down, 6-0. Despite being one point away from a singles sweep, Smutko battled back after a first-set loss to take a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Janine Weinreich.
The Illini will be back in action on Sunday at Noon CT to take on Iowa in Iowa City.
#10 Nebraska 6, #37 Illinois 1
1. #16 Mary Weatherholt (NEB) def. #120 Melissa Kopinski (ILL) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
2. Patricia Veresova (NEB) def. Allison Falkin (ILL) 6-2, 6-3
3. Stefanie Weinstein (NEB) def. Rachael White (ILL) 1-6, 6-3, 7-5
4. Maggy Lehmicke (NEB) def. Misia Kedzierski (ILL) 6-4, 6-3
5. Breanne Smutko (ILL) def. Janine Weinreich (NEB) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
6. Izabella Zgierska (NEB) def. Audrey O'Connor (ILL) 6-3, 7-5
1. #13 Mary Weatherholt/Patricia Veresova (NEB) vs. #22 Melissa Kopinski/Rachael White (ILL) 7-7, unfinished
2. Stefanie Weinstein/Janine Weinreich (NEB) def. Breanne Smutko/Audrey O'Connor (ILL) 8-5
3. Izabella Zgierska/Maggy Lehmicke (NEB) def. Allison Falkin/Julia Jamieson (ILL) 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,6,4,1,3,5)