Fighting Illini Lose to Iowa 5-2
April 23, 2006
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The regular season came to a close on Sunday for the Illini women's tennis team as they lost to No. 30 Iowa, 5-2. The win improves Iowa's Big Ten record to a program best 9-1 while Illinois falls to 2-8 and 7-14 overall.
"We played really well," head coach Sujay Lama said. "But Iowa is really tough at the top of the lineup. Overall, we competed hard and fought from start to finish. The team is looking forward to the Big Ten tournament. Not one time this season we have put together our best effort, where everyone plays to their capability on the same day, but we are getting there. We are going to be a very dangerous team on our home courts this week. Not too many teams are going to want to play us."
Iowa claimed the doubles point, beating the Illini at all three positions. The Illini's top tandem of Macall Harkins and Emily Wang fell to Meg Racette and Jacqueline Lee, 8-5, while Brianna Knue and Shivani Davé lost to Hillary Mintz and Kayla Berry, 8-4. Iowa's Mili Veselinovic and Krissy Dowlin defeated Momei Qu and Alejandra Meza Cuadra, 8-2.
In singles, No. 56 Harkins fell to Iowa's ace, 41st-ranked Racette, 7-5, 6-4. Qu lost to Mintz 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2, while 82nd-ranked Veselinovic topped Knue 6-1, 6-0 at No. 3. The Hawkeye's fifth point came from Lee who earned a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Wang at No. 4.
The bottom of the lineup helped the Orange and Blue get on the board as Davé beat Berry, 7-6(5), 6-2 and Meza Cuadra downed Merel Beelen 2-6, 6-4, 1-0(6) at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively.
Illinois begins post season play beginning Thursday, April 27 when they host the 2006 Big Ten Tournament.
Illinois 2, at Iowa 5