Senior Rachael White advanced to the round of 16 at the NCAA Doubles Championship alongside partner Melissa Kopinski.
May 23, 2013
URBANA, Ill. - Fighting Illini senior Rachael White and sophomore Melissa Kopinski advanced to the round of 16 of the NCAA Doubles Championship Thursday afternoon at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex with a 6-0, 7-6(5) win over South Carolina's Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova. Their first-round win marks the third time in program history that an Illinois doubles team has reached the round of 16.
"We're really taking it one match at a time," White said. "Hopefully we'll have a long run. I was really anxious at first, but it brought back memories of all the matches I played here, and it was really exciting to play in front of the Illini fans."
White and Kopinski, the 22nd-ranked pair in the nation, dominated in the first set, cruising to a 6-0 finish. The tandem battled in the second set, eventually capturing a 7-6(5) win to knock off 29th-ranked Alawi and Kanakova.
"I'm just glad that taking all that time playing paid off and that we finally got that win," Kopinski said. "It's really exciting, but now it's time to get ready for the next match."
The pair now leads the Illini with a 27-12 mark this season. White and Kopinski will look to become the first-ever Illini women's team to advance to the quarterfinal, when they face Hermon Brhane and Whitney Ritchie of Oklahoma tomorrow at Noon CT in the round of 16.
Fans can purchase tickets at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex, at 866-Illini-1 or online. Single-day tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for youth. Admission is free for children age two or younger. Groups of 10 or more can purchase single-day group tickets at $5 apiece by calling the Illinois Ticket Office.