Women's Tennis
Illini Open Play at Midwest Blast

Junior Allison Falkin captured the lone singles win for the Orange and Blue on day one of the Midwest Blast.
Junior Allison Falkin captured the lone singles win for the Orange and Blue on day one of the Midwest Blast.

Nov. 2, 2012


URBANA, Ill. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team began play at the Midwest Blast on Friday at Atkins Tennis Center, capturing one singles and one doubles win on day one of the three-day tournament. Junior Allison Falkin highlighted the day with a straight-set win in singles, while senior Breanne Smutko and freshman Audrey O'Connor won in doubles.

"Progress was made today with each match as the day went on," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "I personally have to do a better job as a coach to make sure my team has a solid understanding of the basics and fundamentals in regards to positioning and shot selection because in the spring, we won't have that time to make the necessary adjustments. As a whole, our movement looked explosive, which is a huge testament to my assistant, Georgia Rose, and our strength coach, Katie Heinrichs."

Smutko and O'Connor started the day with a win for the Orange and Blue, taking down Wake Forest's Brigita Bercyte and Andrea Retolaza Andrade, 8-6. The Illini could not extend that success, however, falling in their next three doubles contests to end the day 1-1 against Wake Forest and 0-2 against Purdue.

Falkin, who is ranked 82nd nationally, picked up the lone singles win for Illinois, downing No. 94 Elizabeth Kilborn of Georgia Tech. Overall, the Illini went 1-3 in singles against the Yellow Jackets.

"Julia Jamieson in particular came up with some sensational gets today," Dasso said."This team is eager and open to improve, which showed throughout the course of the day."

The Orange and Blue will return to the court tomorrow at 9 a.m. to take on Georgia Tech in doubles. The squad will square off with Wake Forest in singles play at 1 p.m.

Illini Results

Illinois vs. Wake Forest (Doubles)
Breanne Smutko/Audrey O'Connor (ILL) def. Brigita Bercyte/Andrea Retolaza Andrade (WF) 8-6
Karen Forman/Xue Zhang (WF) def. Misia Kedzierski/Julia Jamieson (ILL) 9-8(5)

Illinois vs. Purdue (Doubles)
Daniela Vidal/Lynda Xepoleas (PUR) def. Breanne Smutko/Audrey O'Connor (ILL) 9-7
Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum/Gisella Pere (PUR) def. Misia Kedzierski/Julia Jamieson (ILL) 8-5

Illinois vs. Georgia Tech (Singles)
No. 82 Allison Falkin (ILL) def. No. 94 Elizabeth Kilborn (GT) 6-4, 6-2
Kendal Woodard (GT) def. Misia Kedzierski (ILL) 6-2, 6-4
Megan Kurey (GT) def. Breanne Smutko (ILL) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
Natasha Prokhnevska (GT) def. Julia Jamieson (ILL) 6-4, 7-5

Extra Match
Gisella Pere (PUR) def. Audrey O'Connor (ILL) 6-3, 6-4