White, Kopinski Claim Midwest Regional Doubles Title
Oct. 22, 2012
URBANA, Ill. - Fighting Illini senior Rachael White and sophomore Melissa Kopinski were crowned USTA/ITA Midwest Regional doubles champions Monday morning at Atkins Tennis Center, securing an automatic bid to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, Nov. 8-11 at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
"Rachael and Melissa definitely earned this title," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "They just get better and better with each match. I'm excited to see how they do in New York against the most elite competition in the country."
Second-seeded Kopinski and White posted an 8-6 win over Notre Dame duo Britney Sanders and Julie Sabacinski, knocking off the 36th-ranked tandem in the nation. The win marked their fifth victory over a nationally ranked opponent this fall.
In singles, junior Allison Falkin, who is ranked 82nd in the nation and seeded sixth in the tournament, narrowly edged third-seeded Matea Cutura of DePaul, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, to advance to the semifinal round. There, the Roswell, Ga., native fell in straight sets to Northwestern's Kate Turvy, the 12th-ranked player in the country and tournament's second seed.
"Allison battled well today," Dasso said. "She had a great win in the quarterfinals. She got a little worked in the semifinals, which is a huge credit to Kate Turvy. Allison tried different game plans, but things just weren't going her way. Her opponent stayed strong and played pretty flawlessly. Even though it didn't end the way she wanted, overall, Allison had a great tournament."
"I think it was a very good tournament for us," Dasso said. "We can use it as motivation for our next competition, the Midwest Blast."
The Illini will take the weekend off before hosting the Midwest Blast, Nov. 2-4 at Atkins Tennis Center.