Illini Stumble in 6-1 Loss to #8 Michigan
April 6, 2013
URBANA, Ill. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team (9-9, 2-4 Big Ten) suffered a 6-1 loss to No. 8 Michigan (14-4, 5-1) Saturday afternoon at the Atkins Tennis Center. Junior Misia Kedzierski picked up Illinois' lone point with a straight-set win in singles, and senior Breanne Smutko and freshman Audrey O'Connor won in doubles, but the Illini could not extend their three-match winning streak.
"It was unfortunate we had to play inside due to winds on an otherwise nice spring day," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "I feel my team overall is a stronger team outside and does a good job of dealing with the different elements, so we were hoping to get a crack at Michigan outside. With that being said, we still had plenty of opportunities against a talented squad. Michigan was mentally stronger during the tight situations of doubles and key finishes in singles. It was also unfortunate we lost the doubles point, as I feel that could have fired things up in Atkins. We need to turn around tomorrow, compete hard and refuse to lose."
The Orange and Blue started the day with a loss at No. 1 doubles, but Smutko and O'Connor rebounded with an 8-6 win over Kristen Dodge and Amy Zhu at the No. 3 spot. Junior Allison Falkin and Kedzierski came up short in an 8-4 loss to No. 49 Sarah Lee and Ronit Yurovsky at the No. 2 spot to hand Michigan the doubles point.
The Illini continued to struggle in singles action, dropping the first five completed matches. Kedzierski was able to prevent the shutout with a 7-6, 6-3 win over Zhu on court five.
"I am incredibly impressed by Misia's feistiness, consistent effort and spirit she has shown this semester," Dasso said.
The Orange and Blue will return to action tomorrow to take on Michigan State at 11 a.m. at the Atkins Tennis Center.
#8 Michigan 6, #54 Illinois 1
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,1,3,4,2,5)