Illini Exit Big Ten Tournament with 4-1 Loss to Purdue
April 26, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The fifth-seeded Fighting Illini women's tennis team (14-11) ended its Big Ten Tournament run with a 4-1 loss to fourth-seeded Purdue (17-4) in Friday's quarterfinal match at the IU Varsity Tennis Courts. Senior Breanne Smutko captured Illinois' only singles win in the Illini's second loss to the Boilermakers in the last six days.
"Today was not our best performance," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "Some of the second-set scores were very alarming to me today, but hats off to Purdue. We are a good team, and they beat us twice in a span of six days. Laura Glitz has done a great job with that program. We will eagerly wait for Tuesday when we find out our fate for the postseason. I hope today wasn't the last match this team plays together because I think there is more in us."
The Illini got off to a rough start in doubles action, relinquishing the point for the first time in six matches with losses at Nos. 2 and 3. Senior Rachael White and sophomore Melissa Kopinski, the 25th-ranked doubles team in the nation, were up, 7-6, on court one when Purdue clinched the point.
Illinois did not recover in singles action, dropping matches on courts six and three to go down, 3-0. Smutko kept the Illini alive with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum at the No. 4 spot, but Kopinski stumbled at No. 2 to give Purdue the 4-1 victory.
The Illini will await their fate for the 2013 NCAA Championships. NCAA.com will reveal the 64-team bracket next Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. CT.
#28 Purdue 4, #43 Illinois 1
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (6,3,4,2)