Rachael White won in doubles and was the lone Illini singles winner on Senior Day.
April 21, 2013
URBANA, Ill. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team (13-10, 6-5 Big Ten) closed out the regular season with a 5-2 loss to Purdue (16-4, 8-3) Sunday afternoon at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex. Senior Rachael White helped the Illini win the doubles point and captured her fifth straight singles victory, but the Boilermakers spoiled Illinois' four-match winning streak on Senior Day.
"We put ourselves in a great situation to pick up a win but have to credit Purdue for their tough play and beating us at home," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "They edged us mentally today, but we will use that to fuel us for the Big Ten Tournament in the hopes of getting a rematch. Despite the loss today, our team is playing some solid tennis and peaking at the right time. We've come on strong in the second half of the season, and I'm proud of the girls' effort. White was 4-0 in her matches this weekend, which is very impressive."
The Illini captured their fifth straight doubles point, winning at Nos. 1 and 2. Juniors Misia Kedzierski and Allison Falkin extended their winning streak to five matches with an 8-2 win over Lynda Xepoleas and Daniela Vidal at No. 2. White and sophomore Melissa Kopinski, who are ranked 25th in the nation, notched an 8-5 win over No. 27 Krisztina Kapitany and Mara Schmidt on court one to give Illinois a 1-0 lead.
The Illini struggled in singles play, however, suffering losses on five of six courts. After two Illinois players lost their matches in straight sets, White stepped up and won a 6-0, 2-6, 6-3 battle over Vidal at the No. 3 spot to even the score at two points apiece and match the Valrico, Fla., native's longest winning streak of the dual season, but Illinois came up short in three-set thrillers on the remaining three courts to lose the dual match, 5-2.
The loss marks only the second time this season that the Illini have won the doubles point but lost the match. Illinois' record when winning in doubles is now 12-2. The Illini end the regular season tied for fifth in the Big Ten with Indiana.
The Orange and Blue will return to action next weekend at the 2013 Big Ten Tournament, April 25-28 in Bloomington, Ind.
#27 Purdue 5, #47 Illinois 2
1. Mara Schmidt (PUR) def. #109 Melissa Kopinski (ILL) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
2. Lynda Xepoleas (PUR) def. #102 Allison Falkin (ILL) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
3. Rachael White (ILL) def. Daniela Vidal (PUR) 6-0, 2-6, 6-3
4. T. Bernard-Feigenbau (PUR) def. Breanne Smutko (ILL) 6-4, 6-4
5. Krisztina Kapitany (PUR) def. Misia Kedzierski (ILL) 6-0, 4-6, 7-5
6. Gisella Pere (PUR) def. Audrey O'Connor (ILL) 6-2, 6-2
1. #25 Melissa Kopinski/Rachael White (ILL) def. #27 Krisztina Kapitany/Mara Schmidt (PUR) 8-5
2. Misia Kedzierski/Allison Falkin (ILL) def. Lynda Xepoleas/Daniela Vidal (PUR) 8-2
3. Breanne Smutko/Audrey O'Connor (ILL) vs. T. Bernard-Feigenbau/Gisella Pere (PUR) 2-7, unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (6,4,3,2,1,5)