Breanne Smutko played her way to the main draw of the tournament on Friday.
Oct. 21, 2011
Breanne Smutko qualified for the main singles draw, joining seniors Amy Allin and Marisa Lambropoulos, junior Rachael White, sophomore Allison Falkin and freshman Melissa Kopinski, who secured bids to the main draw prior to the tournament.
"I've always loved this tournament because it is a great benchmark to see where we are compared to other teams in our region," Illini head coach Michelle Dasso said. "It allows us to showcase what we want our program to be known for. We lost two incredibly tight doubles matches today that we literally were a point away from winning. We played well but have to figure out a way to seize those moments if we want to be an elite team. The days and matches are long at this tournament, but I believe this favors our team because of all the fitness and conditioning that we have done up to this point in preparation."
In the main doubles draw, 37th-ranked tandem Smutko and senior Chelcie Abajian captured an 8-6 opening-round victory over Toledo's Chrissy Coffman and Silvia Carvajal before dropping a 9-8(6) thriller to No. 3 duo Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton of Northwestern. First-round bye recipients White and Kopinski cruised to a convincing 8-0 shutout over Raquel Vescovi and Frederique Sunstrum (IPFW) to advance to the round of 16, while Falkin and Lambropoulos continued the Illini success, taking an 8-5 victory over Wildcats Natalie Edell and Kate Turvy to put themselves among the final 16 as well.
In the final qualifying round of singles play, Smutko secured a straight-set win over Toledo's Kelsey Anonsen, 6-4, 6-2, to advance to the tournament's main draw. Teammates Abajian and freshman Julia Jamieson just missed the main draw, however, each falling in three sets.
Fellow Illini Misia Kedzierski was also in action on Friday, as the Illini sophomore won her opening match at the Second Chance Regional, hosted by Northern Illinois. Kedzierski took down Christina Colarossi (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), 7-6(2), 6-1.
"It was good for Misia to get back to competing after being hurt," Illini volunteer assistant coach Ric Mortera said. "She was a little nervous at first, but she started to get more comfortable and played some really good tennis. Most importantly, she competed really well the entire match."
The Illini will return to action tomorrow morning at the USTA/ITA Midwest regional for round three of doubles play, followed by the opening round of the main singles draw, while Kedzierski will take the court tomorrow morning at the Second Chance Regional in DeKalb, Ill.
Results and recap will be available at fightingillini.com. Live scoring for the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional is available HERE.
USTA/ITA Midwest Regional - Illini Results
Breanne Smutko (Illinois) def. Kelsey Anonsen (Toledo), 6-4, 6-2
Nicky Stracar (Wisconsin) def. Chelcie Abajian (Illinois), 6-2, 2-6, 6-1
Natalie Edell (Northwestern) def. Julia Jamieson (Illinois), 7-5, 5-7, 6-3
Doubles Round 1
No. 37 Breanne Smutko/Chelcie Abajian def. Chrissy Coffman/Silvia Carvajal (Toledo), 8-6
Kelsey Haviland/Noelle Malley (Ohio State) def. Julia Jamieson/Amy Allin (Illinois), 9-7
Doubles Round 2
No. 3 Linda Abu Mushrefova/Nida Hamilton (Northwestern) def. No. 37 Chelcie Abajian/Breanne Smutko (Illinois), 9-8(6)
Allison Falkin/Marisa Lambropoulos (Illinois) def. Natalie Edell/Kate Turvy (Northwestern), 8-5
Rachael White/Melissa Kopinski (Illinois) def. Raquel Vescovi/Frederique Sunstrum (IPFW), 8-0
Julia Jamieson/Amy Allin (ILL) def. Caroline Neumann/Cali Gustafson (DePaul), 8-4
Second Chance Regional
Misia Kedzierski (Illinois) def. Christina Colarossi (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), 7-6(2), 6-1