Marisa Lambropoulos defeated Adriana Pereira, 6-3, 6-2.
March 24, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The No. 39 Illini women's tennis team (7-7) had its four-match winning streak snapped Wednesday afternoon, as it fell 4-3 to No. 20 South Carolina (10-4) at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. The loss was Illinois' fourth by one point and sixth against a top-25 opponent this season.
"We're obviously disappointed to lose this one, because we've come so close all our year with these top teams," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "Every single person on our team has to be ready to go at every court in singles and doubles. That's the only way to go from good to great. There's a lot of parity in college tennis, so you have to be ready to play and come hungry to every match."
The Illini struck first in doubles, as junior Marisa Lambropoulos and freshman Breanne Smutko captured their fifth straight win with an 8-3 defeat of Adriana Pereira and Anya Morgina, before sophomore Chelcie Abajian and freshman Rachael White clinched the point by topping Miljana Jocic and Rita Maisak, 8-5.
After a loss at No. 2 singles, Smutko and Lambropoulos claimed the next two to give the Illini a 3-1 lead with three matches remaining. The Gamecocks proved to be too much, however, rallying back to win the match, 4-3.
"Bre (Smutko) has been playing with a lot of energy and a good attitude and her composure when she's behind as allowed her to come back and win some sets," Dasso said. "Mish (Lambropoulos) has been playing some phenomenal tennis this spring and keeps getting better and better. She has the confidence and focus and her fitness level is allowing her to get to some balls she might have missed last year."
The Illini will conclude their spring trip on Friday at College of Charleston at 1:30 p.m. CT.
#20 South Carolina 4, #39 Illinois 3
1. #92 Ana Marija Zubori (SC) def. #119 Megan Fudge (ILL) 6-2, 6-3
2. Dijana Stojic (SC) def. Rachael White (ILL) 6-3, 6-0
3. Anya Morgina (SC) def. Leigh Finnegan (ILL) 6-4, 7-5
4. Marisa Lambropoulos (ILL) def. Adriana Pereira (SC) 6-3, 6-2
5. Miljana Jocic (SC) def. Chelcie Abajian (ILL) 6-4, 6-0
6. Breanne Smutko (ILL) def. Rita Maisak (SC) 6-2, 7-5
1. Dijana Stojic/Ana Marija Zubori (SC) def. Megan Fudge/Leigh Finnegan (ILL) 8-5
2. Chelcie Abajian/Rachael White (ILL) def. Miljana Jocic/Rita Maisak (SC) 8-5
3. Marisa Lambropoulos/Breanne Smutko (ILL) def. Adriana Pereira/Anya Morgina (SC) 8-3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,6,4,3,5,1)