Junior Shivani Davé tallied her first win over a ranked opponent - 14th victory of the year as well - in Illinois loss to No. 22 Michigan.
April 4, 2008
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The No. 62-ranked Illinois women's tennis squad competed against a tough No. 22-ranked Michigan team for most of the match, but the Wolverines proved the tougher team today as they prevailed 5-2 in Ann Arbor at the Varsity Tennis Center. The Maize and Blue (11-4, 4-1) have been tough at home - 6-0 after today's victory - and proved that today as they won their ninth straight match overall to drop the Illini to 7-8 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
"The doubles point was really close to start off the day and we played as well as we have all year," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "Today's match was a lot closer than the 5-2 score showed. We could have easily, with a few breaks going our way, won the match 5-2. However, they got the momentum after winning the doubles point, which is huge in college tennis. For us as a team, we showed a lot of fight. I saw Kristina Minor play some of the best tennis that she has played all year at six. Then Leigh was battling toe-to-toe with Chisako Sugiyama at No. 1 singles, and Shivani just took care of business on her court as well. I am pretty proud of the team as a whole for their effort today."
The home Wolverines came out strong to start off the match as they nabbed the doubles point for the sixth straight dual, taking a 1-0 lead in the process. Despite the loss of the doubles point, the tandem of sophomore Kristina Minor and freshman Annie McCarthy (ILL) prevented the Michigan sweep in the doubles portion, as they posted an abbreviated match win, 8-7(3), on court three after the point had already been decided.
In singles, however, the Illini gave the Wolverines all they could handle, but U-M won three of the next four singles matches on courts three, five and then clinched the win on two when Whitney Taney (MICH) took down sophomore Megan Fudge 6-3, 6-3, to put the dual away. Illinois finished the match on a high note, however, as junior Shivani Davé (ILL) looked in full control from start to finish at No. 4 singles, as she downed No. 105 Tania Mahtani (MICH), 6-4, 6-3, in straights for her 14th win of 2008. The win also is Davé's first over a ranked opponent of the season.
Minor (ILL) then made the final score 5-2 when she came from behind against Lindsey Howard (MICH) at No. 6 singles. The Illini youngster started off sluggish after dropping the opening set, but from there found her stride as she put the contest away with a pair of 6-1 final sets to win her 14th match of the year.
"Now we have a pretty quick turnaround to get ready for a feisty Penn State team on Sunday," Dasso said about where the go from here. "We will hit the road, get some rest, and then get ready to battle another Big Ten opponent."
Illinois now continues its road trip as it travels to University Park, Pa., to take on Penn State on Sunday, April 6. There, the Illini look to get back on track in Big Ten contests when they take on the Nittany Lions, who they have won nine of the last 10 meetings against. The match against the Lions will not be covered by live scoring, but a full recap can be found as soon as results are reported at fightingillini.com.
#22 UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 5, #62 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 2
4/2/2008 AT ANN ARBOR, MICH. (VARSITY TENNIS CENTER)
1. #46 Chisako Sugiyama (MICH) def. Leigh Finnegan (ILL) - 6-4, 6-3
2. Whitney Taney (MICH) def. Megan Fudge (ILL) - 6-3, 6-3
3. Denise Muresan (MICH) def. Marisa Lambropoulos (ILL) - 6-0, 6-2
4. Shivani Davé (ILL) def. #105 Tania Mahtani (MICH) - 6-4, 6-3
5. Rika Tatsuno (MICH) def. Momei Qu (ILL) - 6-3, 6-4
6. Kristina Minor (ILL) def. Lindsey Howard (MICH) - 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
1. #56 Tania Mahtani / Chisako Sugiyama (MICH) def. Megan Fudge / Shivani Davé (ILL) - 8-5
2. Allie Shafner / Whitney Taney (MICH) def. Leigh Finnegan / Marisa Lambropoulos (ILL) - 8-6
3. Annie McCarthy / Kristina Minor (ILL) def. Lindsey Howard / Rika Tatsuno (MICH) - 8-7(3)
University of Illinois 7-8, 3-2 Big Ten; National Ranking - 62
University of Wisconsin 11-4, 4-1 Big Ten - National Ranking - 22
Order of finish: Doubles (1, 2, 3); Singles (3, 5, 4, 2, 1, 6)