Illinois begins its season on Friday at the FGCU Invite in Fort Myers, Fla.
Jan. 13, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The 25th-ranked Illinois women's tennis team will raise the curtain on the 2011 season this weekend at the Florida Gulf Coast Hilton Garden Inn Invitational, Jan. 15-17 in Fort Myers, Fla. The tournament will serve as the Illini's final non-dual matches of the year and will feature individual singles and doubles matches against players from No. 28 South Florida, No. 50 Purdue, No. 66 North Texas, No. 70 North Florida, Akron, Stetson, Northwestern State, Louisville and Florida Gulf Coast. Each flight for singles and doubles will consist of eight players, with each player competing in one singles and doubles match per day.
The Illini return seven letterwinners from last year's squad led by senior Marisa Lambropoulos, junior Chelcie Abajian and sophomores Breanne Smutko and Rachael White. Lambropoulos and Smutko each registered 22 wins last season for the Illini, while Abajian added 21 and White collected 14, including nine in duals playing the majority of the year at Nos. 1-3 singles in her debut season.
White led the way this past fall, capturing six victories in singles and tied for the team lead in doubles with eight. In the first Campbell/ITA national rankings of 2011, White came in at No. 100 in singles and 15th in doubles with freshman Allison Falkin. In Midwest region rankings, the duo checked in at No. 3 in doubles, while White was ranked No. 14 in singles.
The tournament will provide an early look at future opponents South Florida and Purdue, which the Illini will face again in dual play. Illinois drew South Florida in the opening round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend event on Jan. 29 in Atlanta, Ga., while it will host Purdue on April 2 in its Big Ten home opener.
Complete results and recap from the tournament will be available at fightingillini.com.