Illini Capture Six Wins on Day Two at Schwartz Challenge
Nov. 5, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Illini women's tennis team went 6-7 in singles play on Saturday at the Schwartz Tennis Challenge, as freshman Melissa Kopinski secured two victories for the Orange and Blue on day two of the three-day tournament, hosted by Purdue.
"Today was another opportunity to see everyone compete in singles against more quality competition," Illini head coach Michelle Dasso said. "It definitely was nice to see some third-set tie-breakers go our way. We can't always control the way we play, but we can control our competitive drive. I want every single one of my players to hate to lose."
In their first round of matches, the Illini took on competition from Vanderbilt, a team that reached the Sweet 16 in the 2011 NCAA tournament. The Orange and Blue posted a 2-4 mark on the day against the Commodores, as Illini newcomer Melissa Kopinski picked up her second win of the tournament with a 6-3, 6-1 sweep over Nelly Radeva. Sophomore Misia Kedzierski also got in on the winning action, adding a 6-0, 7-6(5) victory over Megan Gornet.
In their following round of singles matches, the Illini went 3-3 against Big Ten rival and host Purdue. Senior Marisa Lambropoulos downed No. 106 Jennifer Rabot in a 6-3, 0-6, 10-8 thriller, while Kopinski secured her second win of the day and third of the tournament with a dramatic 6-4, 3-6, 11-9 victory over Lynda Xepoleas. Sophomore Allison Falkin captuted a win as well, cruising to a quick 6-1, 6-2 victory over Daniela Vidal.
Meanwhile, senior Chelcie Abajian filled in for a sick Iowa player in a round of singles matches between the Hawkeyes and Georgia Tech. Abajian took down Elizabeth Kilborn, 6-4, 5-7, 10-7, to capture the final victory of the day for the Orange and Blue.
The Illini will return to action tomorrow morning to take on Vanderbilt in doubles play at 9:15 a.m. CT, followed by a doubles showdown with Purdue and a singles clash with Iowa.
Results and recap will be available at fightingillini.com.
Shwartz Tennis Challenge - Illini Results
Illinois vs. Vanderbilt
Purdue vs. Illinois
Chelcie Abajian (Illinois) def. Elizabeth Kilborn (Georgia Tech), 6-4, 5-7, 10-7