Nov. 7, 2003
The Illinois women's tennis team faced tough competition in both their doubles and singles matches today as it opened the fifth annual Midwest Blast at the Atkins Tennis Center. In doubles action the Orange and Blue faced competition from Virginia. The Illini were able to win one of the three matches, as Tiffany Eklov and Isabel Jarosz shut out the Cavaliers' Kristen James and Shannon South. The Fighting Illini were able to win two of their six matches against strong competition from Miami. (Fla.) Isabel Jarosz and Brianna Knue came out on top in their matches.
"I could tell that the girls were nervous at first," said Assistant Coach JoAnne Russell. "I think that is a good thing, though. The advantage of having a mock-dual format like this is that the girls get to feel the excitement of a team match. If they didn't get a little nervous, then I would be worried."
Senior Jennifer McGaffigan was miles away from the Atkins Center. She wrapped up her run at the ITA National Indoor Championships in Ann Arbor, Mich., this afternoon. She was eliminated by the No. 2- seeded Agate Cioroch of Georgia.
"It was a really good experience for me," said McGaffigan. "It was definitely a winnable match but Agate is a really good player. I gave it everything I had and I am happy with that."
"She was up 5-4 in the second set and had the opportunity to win," Said Head Coach Sujay Lama. "Agate is a great competitor and Jenny played extremely well. She has had a great run this fall and has shown she is one of the top players in the country. That is good for her and good for us to know that we have a top player on our team."
The Midwest Blast will continue Saturday with action beginning at 9 am. Updates for the Midwest Blast will be posted periodically throughout the day on www.fightingillini.com. Complete updates for the ITA National Indoor Championships can be found at www.itatennis.com.
THURSDAY'S ILLINOIS RESULTS:
(ITA National Indoors) #1 Agate Cioroch (UGA) def. Jennifer McGaffigan (ILL) 6-2, 7-5
(Midwest Blast) Staci Stevens (MIA) def. Tiffany Eklov (ILL) 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 Melissa Applebaum (MIA) def. Cynthya Goulet (ILL) 6-1, 6-2 Isabel Jarosz (ILL) def. Mari Toro (MIA) 6-2, 6-7, 6-4 Brianna Knue (ILL) def. Sara Robbins (MIA) 6-2, 6-0 Natalie Mikolich (MIA) def. Pavlina Akritas (ILL) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 Audrey Banada (MIA) def. Emily Wang (ILL) 6-1, 6-2 Sihem Bennacer (MIA) def. Leila Cehajic (ILL) 6-2, 6-0
Shannon Stough/Marta Bechliwanis (VA) def. Pavlina Akritas/Leila Cehajic (ILL) 8-5 Mariko Fritz-Krockow/Lauren Bruch (VA) def. Emily Wang/Cynthya Goulet (ILL) 8-3 Tiffany Eklov/Isabel Jarosz (ILL) def. Kristen James/Shannon South (VA) 8-0 Dora Bechliwanis/Caroline Hammond (VA) def. Brianna Knue/Eva Choe (ILL) 9-8 (3)