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    Abajian and McCarthy Advance at Midwest Regionals
    Freshman Chelcie Abajian is one win away from the singles main draw at the Midwest Regional Championships in East Lansing, Mich.

    Freshman Chelcie Abajian is one win away from the singles main draw at the Midwest Regional Championships in East Lansing, Mich.

    Oct. 23, 2008

    EAST LANSING, Mich. - Sophomore Annie McCarthy and freshman Chelcie Abajian highlighted the Illinois women's tennis team's efforts today at the 2008 Wilson/ITA Midwest Regionals today on the campus of Michigan State University. The two Illini went a combined 4-0 in singles qualifying, moving them both one win away from a main draw appearance. The final round of singles qualifying will be held Friday morning, followed by two rounds of the doubles main draw.

    "Overall it was a very productive opening day of qualifying rounds," Illinois head coach Michelle Dasso said. "All four of our players (Abajian, Allin, McCarthy, Stromberg) won their first round singles matches and Abajian and McCarthy will vie for a spot in the main draw with the final round of qualifying in the morning."

    In the final round of qualifying, McCarthy will take on Tatiana Ganzha from Purdue, while Abajian faces Western Michigan's Yumi Matsuto.

    In the other Illini matches on the day, junior Christine Stromberg, who was listed as an alternate before the tournament began, was called up for the qualifying draw at the last minute. Stromberg made her presence known, battling hard against Miriam Westerink from Eastern Michigan University in the first round. Stromberg prevailed, 7-6 (5), 6-2, to advance to the second round where she faced Miami's Megan Martzolf. Stromberg put up a tough fight, but could not overcome Martzolf, falling in the second round 6-2, 6-4.

    Freshman Amy Allin battled from being down 5-2 in the first set, to take a straight sets victory over Veronika Leszayova of Drake, 7-5, 6-3, to advance to the second round of the qualifying draw. In her second match of the day against Iowa's Jessica Young, Allin was down a set and 3-0 in the second, before the Dallas, Tex., native battled back to force a second set tiebreaker. However, the Illini fell short, 6-1, 7-6 (4), ending her singles run at the Regional Championships.

    "Christine proved with her performances today she deserved a spot in the draw," Dasso added. "Amy showed her heart as the comeback kid as she battled back being down in the first set of her first singles match, before pulling away with the victory. In her second match of the day she once again battled back, but fell short in a tough tie-break that easily could have gone either way."

    Play resumes tomorrow at 9 a.m. with the final round of singles qualifying, followed by the first and second rounds of the doubles action, where three Illini tandems are set for competition. For continued coverage of the 2008 Wilson/ITA Midwest Regionals, fans can visit msuspartans.com for results and score updates throughout the tournament, while a full recap of each day's action for the Illini will be available at fightingillini.com.

    2008 Wilson / ITA Midwest Regional Championship Results
    MSU Indoor Tennis Facility
    East Lansing, Mich.

    Day One - 10/23
    Singles Qualifying - Round 1

    Chelcie Abajian (ILL) def. Amy Recht (IPFW) 6-4, 6-0
    Annie McCarthy (ILL) def. Catrine Bjerrehus (CLE. ST) 6-1, 7-5
    Amy Allin (ILL) def. Veronika Leszayova (DRAKE) 7-5, 6-3
    Christine Stromberg (ILL) def. Miriam Westerink (EMU) 7-6 (5), 6-2

    Singles Qualifying - Round 2

    Chelcie Abajian (ILL) def. Britney Larson (MIAMI) 6-1, 6-2
    Annie McCarthy (ILL) def. Ally Majercik (IOWA) 7-5, 6-1
    Jessica Young (IOWA) def. Amy Allin (ILL) 6-1, 7-6 (4)
    Megan Martzolf (MIAMI) def. Christine Stromberg (ILL) 6-2, 6-4

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