Junior Megan Fudge and the Illini advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament this afternoon.
April 24, 2009
MADISON, Wis. - The No. 34-ranked Illinois women's tennis team advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament with a 4-1 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers at McKee Farms Park. After playing doubles outdoors, the match was moved inside, as the winds were too strong for outdoor play. The Illini started the afternoon off hot, taking the doubles point and continued their charge in singles, with wins on courts 1,3 and 6.
"The girls did a very good job at making the adjustments from moving outdoors to indoors," Illinois head coach Michelle Dasso said. "Megan won quickly at No. 1 and then to see Chelcie (Abajian) comeback and battle for a win against Jennifer Rabot, who she lost to earlier in the year was impressive. Marisa (Lambropoulos) was battling flu symptoms today, but showed a lot of courage at No. 4 singles. It was definitely a team effort today and all of the girls are excited and fired up for the rematch with the Michigan Wolverines."
The No. 3 doubles tandem of Amy Allin and Annie McCarthy got the ball rolling early on for the Illini, dominating Purdue's Anna Dushkina and Kay Kay Magi, 8-3. From there on, junior Megan Fudge and Marisa Lambropoulos (ILL) easily took care of the Boilermakers' Remi Martin and Jennifer Rabot, 8-4, at No. 2 doubles. With the doubles point, decided the match at No. 1 doubles was unfinished.
In singles, the Boilermakers notched a victory at No. 5 singles to bring the overall match score to 1-1. The No. 77-ranked Fudge (ILL) responded with a straight sets win at No. 1 singles. The Kaarst, Germany native, bageled her opponent Michelle Sammons (PUR) in the first set, 6-0, the put the polishing touches on the win with a 6-2 victory in the second set.
At No. 3 singles, freshman Chelcie Abajian inched the Illini closer to victory, taking the first set 6-1, then overcame two set points in the second set to capture the win, 7-6 (4).
The clinching match came at No. 6 singles, where junior Kristina Minor battled three sets with Purdue's Remi Martin. Minor took the first set 6-2, and then fell in the second set, 3-6, before finishing off Martin in the third set, 6-3, to give the Illini the win.
This is the second straight year the Illini (18-6) have advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. The third-seed Illini take on the No. 2-seed Michigan Wolverines tomorrow at 2 p.m. CT at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium. Live scoring will be available at uwbadgers.com.
#34 Illinois 4, Purdue 1
April 24, 2009
McKee Farms Park (Fitchburg, Wis.)
1. #77 Megan Fudge (ILL) def. Michelle Sammons (PUR) 6-0, 6-2
2. #123 Leigh Finnegan (ILL) vs. Stephanie Wooten (PUR) 4-6, 6-3, 0-2, unfinished
3. Chelcie Abajian (ILL) def. Jennifer Rabot (PUR) 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)
4. Marisa Lambropoulos (ILL) vs. Tatiana Ganzha (PUR) 7-6 (8-6), 1-5, unfinished
5. Anna Dushkina (PUR) def. Amy Allin (ILL) 6-1, 6-1
6. Kristina Minor (ILL) def. Remi Martin (PUR) 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
1. Leigh Finnegan/Chelcie Abajian (ILL) vs. Michelle Sammons/Stephanie Wooten (PUR) 3-6, unfinished
2. Megan Fudge/Marisa Lambropoulos (ILL) def. Remi Martin/Jennifer Rabot (PUR) 8-4
3. Amy Allin/Annie McCarthy (ILL) def. Anna Dushkina/Kay Kay Magi (PUR) 8-3
Purdue 9-13 (4-6 Big Ten)
Illinois 18-6 (8-2 Big Ten); National ranking #34
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,1,3,6)