Illini Drop 4-3 Heartbreaker to Oklahoma State
March 19, 2013
SAN DIEGO - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team (6-8) came up short in a 4-3 thriller Tuesday afternoon, falling to Oklahoma State (8-3) at the Del Mar Country Club. Senior Breanne Smutko and juniors Allison Falkin and Misia Kedzierski won in singles, but it was not enough to prevent Illinois' fourth straight loss, marking the longest losing streak for the Illini since the 2007 squad closed out the season with seven consecutive losses.
"The common denominator in every 4-3 win or loss this season has been the doubles point," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "We were in position to take it and did not play up to our standard closing it out. We came out of the gates in singles on a mission, and the intensity and heart were there, as they should be. Simply learning to play 10 percent more aggressively and with 10 percent more belief when closing out sets and matches was the difference today."
The Illini gave up the doubles point with losses at Nos. 1 and 2, but Kedzierski and Falkin managed to avoid the sweep, capturing an 8-6 win over Maria Alvarez and C.C. Sardinha at the No. 3 spot.
Falkin and Kedzierski continued their success in singles action, capturing straight-set wins at Nos. 1 and 5. Falkin cruised to a 6-0, 6-3 victory over No. 83 Malika Rose on court one, while Kedzierski picked up a 6-2, 7-5 win over Kanyapat Narattana on court five. Smutko notched her third straight win after Alvarez retired a 7-6(4), 2-1 match in the second set at the No. 4 spot. Illinois dropped the other three matches, giving the Cowgirls the narrow victory.
The Illini will take the weekend off before returning to the Atkins Tennis Center to host Wisconsin on March 29 at 4 p.m. CT and Minnesota on March 31 at 11 a.m.
#26 Oklahoma State 4, #49 Illinois 3