Redshirt senior Marisa Lambropoulos was one of two Illini to fall in the round of 16 at the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional.
Oct. 23, 2011
Rachael White and freshman Melissa Kopinski ended their run in the doubles semifinals at the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional on Sunday, as the Illini duo captured a quarterfinal victory to start the day but fell to a top-five opponent in the following match. Seniors Amy Allin and Marisa Lambropoulos wrapped up tournament play as well, both falling to nationally ranked opponents in the singles round of 16.
"Overall, it was a great weekend for the Illini," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "I was really happy with our doubles combinations. I think we have a lot of options this year, and I liked the chemistry that we had within the teams. It was awesome to get so many matches, and it was a great opportunity to learn from this tournament. We're not at our peak, and I don't think we ever will be. It's about finding ways to get better. Everyone has things they need to work on individually, so we can come together and be the best we can be next spring."
White and Kopinski breezed through the quarterfinal round with an 8-3 victory over Toledo's Kelsey Anonsen and Lexy Pitt. The Illini tandem could not maintain that momentum in semifinals, however, as the pair suffered an 8-4 loss to Notre Dame's Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews, who are seeded second in the tournament and ranked fifth in the nation.
In the main singles draw, Lambropoulos ended her stellar run to the round of 16, as she fell to top-seeded and third-ranked Frilling (Notre Dame), while Allin lost a 6-3, 7-5 battle to No. 49 Belinda Niu of Northwestern.
The Illini picked up three singles victories in the consolation draw, as White, Kopinski and sophomore Allison Falkin each won in straight sets, while senior Chelcie Abajian and junior Breanne Smutko lost their back draw matches.
Meanwhile, fellow Illini Misia Kedzierski captured the title match of her flight at the Second Chance Regional, hosted by Northern Illinois. There, the Illini sophomore took a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Western Michigan's Jill Pastunink to cap off a 3-0 weekend in her first tournament of the fall season.
"She got off to a little bit of a slow start today but stuck to her game plan and was able to pull off the win," Illini volunteer assistant coach Ric Mortera said. "Overall, she had a pretty solid weekend. Hopefully she can use the momentum she gained this weekend to improve as the fall season progresses."
"I was really impressed with Kedzierski's play this weekend," Dasso added. "She competed hard, and I know she's been putting in the work. The fact that she has worked so hard in conditioning is a huge reason she won this weekend. It was very important for her to get some match play this fall."
The Orange and Blue will return to action in two weeks to wrap up the fall season at the Purdue Invitational, Nov. 4-6 in West Lafayette, Ind.
USTA/ITA Midwest Regional - Illini Results
Nini Sujashvili (Western Michigan) def. Breanne Smutko (Illinois), 4-6, 6-1, (16-14)
Allison Falkin (Illinois) def. Kelsey Haviland (Ohio State), 7-6, 6-3
No. 87 Jennifer Kellner (Notre Dame) def. Chelcie Abajian (Illinois), 6-3, 6-1
No. 67 Rachael White (Illinois) def. Katherine White (Notre Dame), 7-6, 6-4
Melissa Kopinski (Illinois) def. Kelsey Dieters (Ohio State), 6-3, 6-3
Rachael White/Melissa Kopinski (Illinois) def. Kelsey Anonsen/Lexy Pitt (Toledo), 8-3
No. 5 Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews (Notre Dame) def. Rachael White/Melissa Kopinski (Illinois), 8-4
Second Chance Regional
Misia Kedzierski (Illinois) def. Jill Pastunink (Western Michigan), 6-4, 6-4