Freshman Amy Allin picked up a win in front of the home crowd today at No. 5 singles.
May 10, 2009
URBANA, Ill. - For the second time in as many days, the No. 34 Illinois women's tennis battled against a top-20 opponent with the match coming down to the final singles match on court in a third set tiebreaker. In the end today, No. 16 Fresno State came out on top, edging the Illini 4-3, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex to advance to the Sweet 16.
"What a phenomenal weekend with two great college tennis matches," Illinois head coach Michelle Dasso said. "We won a battle yesterday and then lost a heartbreaker today. This team keeps surprising me and I want to give credit to them. We were very close and have to hold our heads up high. This will keep us motivated this summer and we want to get to the Sweet 16 next year."
The Bulldogs got on board early taking the doubles point with wins at Nos. 1 and 3 doubles. Fresno State went up 2-0 with a win at No. 2 singles, early on in the match.
The Fighting Illini responded winning three straight singles matches to take a 3-2 lead and appeared on the verge of yet another upset.
Junior Megan Fudge, ranked No. 75 in the nation, got the ball rolling for the Orange and Blue at No. 1 singles. Fudge, playing some of the best tennis in her career, upset No. 18-ranked Melanie Gloria of Fresno State in straights, 6-1, 6-0.
Freshman Amy Allin was up next for the Illini as she notched a 6-1, 7-6 (4), win over Fresno State's Laura Pola at No. 5 singles. Sophomore Marisa Lambropoulos got the Illini closer to victory, picking up a win at No. 4 singles. In a tight three-set match, Lambropoulos battled hard against the Bulldogs' Tinesta Rowe, prevailing to take the match, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
Fresno State evened the overall score at 3-3 with a victory at No. 6 singles. Illinois junior Kristina Minor took the first set 6-2, over the Bulldogs' Bruna Paes, but dropped the second set. In a battle between the two in the third set, Paes (FSU) edged out Minor (ILL) 6-3.
With the match down to the wire, all attention turned to No. 3 singles, where Illinois freshman Chelcie Abajian found herself tied 6-6 in the third set with Fresno State's Renata Kucerkova. Kucerkova, ranked No. 67 in the country, went up early in the tiebreaker, but Abajian was not willing to go down without a fight. The two traded points in the final moments, before Kucerkova took the tiebreaker, 7-3.
The Illini end an incredible season with an overall record of 19-8, the most wins in a season for the women's tennis program since 1991.
#16 Fresno State 4, #34 University of Illinois 3
5/10/2009 at Urbana, Ill. (Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex)
1. #75 Megan Fudge (ILL) def. #18 Melanie Gloria (FS) 6-1, 6-0
2. #27 Anastasia Petukhova (FS) def. #103 Leigh Finnegan (ILL) 6-1, 6-1
3. #67 Renata Kucerkova (FS) def. Chelcie Abajian (ILL) 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3)
4. Marisa Lambropoulos (ILL) def. Tinesta Rowe (FS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
5. Amy Allin (ILL) def. Laura Pola (FS) 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)
6. Bruna Paes (FS) def. Kristina Minor (ILL) 2-6, 6-0, 6-3
1. #1 Anastasia Petukhova/Renata Kucerkova (FS) def. Leigh Finnegan/Chelcie Abajian (ILL) 8-2
2. Megan Fudge/Marisa Lambropoulos (ILL) vs. #15 Melanie Gloria/Tinesta Rowe (FS) 4-7, unfinished
3. Danon Beatty/Laura Pola (FS) def. Annie McCarthy/Amy Allin (ILL) 8-6
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (2,1,5,4,6,3)