Melissa Kopinski beat the top-ranked singles player at the Midwest Blast in straight sets on Saturday.
Nov. 2, 2013
URBANA, Ill. - The Illinois women's tennis team wrapped up the second day of the three-day Midwest Blast on Saturday afternoon. The Illini started the day with a 2-1 showing in doubles against Wake Forest and ended it with a 5-1 singles showing against Missouri. Melissa Kopinski and Louise Kwong each remained undefeated in both singles and doubles. Both have gone 3-0 in doubles action so far with their respective partners and 2-0 in singles play.
"The team has impressed me immensely," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "The battle and the character we've shown in the first couple days is great. Tomorrow, we just want to keep our heads up and finish strong. There is a lot of leadership and a lot of growth occurring so far in the last two days."
The Orange and Blue took on Wake Forest in doubles play at 9 a.m. and took two of three from the Demon Deacons. With doubles play now completed for the tournament, the Illini finished 7-2 in three sets of three doubles matches. All three doubles tandems had not previously played together. Kwong, a freshman, improved to a team-best 6-1 in doubles this season, going 3-0 with Julia Jamieson at the Midwest Blast and 3-1 with Misia Kedzierski earlier in the fall. Kopinski and partner Alexis Casati also went a perfect 3-0 in doubles at the Midwest Blast.
Kopinski played No. 1 singles for the Illini and is 2-0 with one match left to play. Kopinski faced to top-ranked player at the Blast on Saturday, No. 72 Cierra Gaytan-Leach of Missouri. Kopinski improved Illinois to 6-1 in tiebreaks at the Midwest Blast with a 7-6 (4) win in the first set and swept Gaytan-Leach with a 6-2 win in the second set.
After sweeping all three doubles matches against Missouri on Friday, the Illini went 5-1 against Missouri in singles play on Saturday afternoon. Casati won easily at No. 3 singles, winning 6-0, 6-1 and improved her singles record to a team-leading 7-2 this fall.
Jerricka Boone came from behind to post a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win at No. 4 singles, and Kwong improved to 4-1 in singles this fall with a 6-3, 6-4 win on court five. Julia Jamieson won in straight sets at No. 6 singles, winning 6-1, 6-3 over Cassidy Spearman. Through two days of the tournament, Illinois is 7-2 in doubles play and 9-4 in singles play, the best mark of the four teams competing.
The Midwest Blast concludes on Sunday. The Illini face Purdue in six singles matches at 11 a.m. CT at the Atkins Tennis Center. Missouri and Wake Forest will also play singles matches Sunday, with the Tigers and Demon Deacons starting at 8 a.m.