Freshman Melissa Kopinski won in her career-first appearance at No. 1 singles on Friday.
April 27, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 20th-ranked and third-seeded Fighting Illini women's tennis team (18-6) advanced to the semifinal round of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament in a convincing 4-0 shutout over sixth-seeded Minnesota (16-8) Friday afternoon at Ohio State's Varsity Outdoor Tennis Courts. The victory marks Illinois' sixth straight win, matching its longest streak of the season, and was its 12th win in its last 13 outings. The Orange and Blue now boast seven shutouts this season.
"We looked confident and fresh today," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "But we didn't come here just to make the semifinals."
The Illini captured their sixth straight doubles point to carry a 1-0 lead into singles play. Junior Rachael White and senior Amy Allin led off with a quick 8-1 win over Doron Muravnik and Alexa Palen at the No. 2 spot, while senior Chelcie Abajian and sophomore Allison Falkin sealed the point with an 8-4 decision over Tereza Brichacova and Aria Lambert at the No. 3 position.
The Illini continued to dominate the Gophers in singles play, as freshman Melissa Kopinski cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Natalie Pintusava in her career-first appearance at No. 1 singles. White followed with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Lambert on court five, while sophomore Allison Falkin, who is ranked No. 102 in the nation, clinched the Illini victory with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Muravnik at the No. 2 spot.
The Orange and Blue will return to action tomorrow at 1 p.m. CT to face 15th-ranked and second-seeded Michigan in semifinal action. Illinois' only loss in its current 12-1 stretch came to the Wolverines in a 6-1 decision on April 7.
Match Results - ILL 4, MINN 0
1. Melissa Kopinski (ILL) def. Natalia Pintusava (MINN) 6-0, 6-1
2. #102 Allison Falkin (ILL) def. Doron Muravnik (MINN) 6-4, 6-0
3. Marisa Lambropoulos (ILL) vs. Tereza Brichacova (MINN) 6-1, 5-3, unfinished
4. Amy Allin (ILL) vs. Julia Courter (MINN) 1-0, unfinished
5. Rachael White (ILL) def. Aria Lambert (MINN) 6-4, 6-2
6. Chelcie Abajian (ILL) vs. Magdalena Wiecha (MINN) 6-4, 4-1, unfinished
1. #53 Marisa Lambropoulos/Melissa Kopinski (ILL) vs. Natalia Pintusava/Magdalena Wiecha (MINN) 7-3, unfinished
2. Rachael White/Amy Allin (ILL) def. Doron Muravnik/Alexa Palen (MINN) 8-1
3. Chelcie Abajian/Allison Falkin (ILL) def. Tereza Brichacova/Aria Lambert (MINN) 8-4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (1,5,2)