Illini hit the road for their first away match of the season
Jan. 29, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team will travel to Notre Dame on Friday for their first road dual match of the season. Illinois will face the No. 23 Fighting Irish at 2:30 p.m. CT in South Bend, Ind. and will return to Urbana to host No. 25 TCU on Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Atkins Tennis Center.
The Illini trail the Fighting Irish in the all-time series record, winning 8 of their 33 meetings. When the two teams last met in 2013, the No. 24 Illini lost 3-4 to No. 19 Notre Dame. Illinois and TCU have only played five times, with TCU leading by a hair 3-2. The Illini last met the Horned Frogs during the 2009-2010 season, where No. 43 Illinois defeated No. 62 TCU 4-3.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Notre Dame is 3-1 this season and will be coming off of a 4-0 win over Oklahoma State heading into the weekend. The Irish are ranked 23rd in the nation. Notre Dame features two ranked doubles teams, Monica Robinson/Jennifer Kellner at No. 26 and Quinn Gleason/Britney Sanders at No.30.
TCU is 3-1 overall and will face DePaul and Purdue before heading down to Urbana on Sunday. The Horned Frogs sit at No. 25 on the ITA rankings, and have one ranked player, Stefanie Tan at No. 30 in singles.
NEW SCORING SYSTEM
This season will see a change in format in the hopes of attracting and keeping more fans at the matches. During the first six weeks of play, doubles will be a regular set to 6, with a tiebreaker at 6-6. Singles will be best-of-three sets with a ten-point match tiebreaker in lieu of a third set. There will be no warm-up against the opponent in either singles or doubles.
CAMPBELL/ITA NATIONAL RANKINGS
The Illini jumped two spots to No. 42 in the latest national team rankings after three wins this past weekend at home.
LAST TIME OUT
Illinois came out of last weekend undefeated after taking down SLU, UChicago, and Illinois State 7-0 at the Atkins Tennis Center.
Twelve of Illinois' regular season opponents were nationally ranked to start the season, and five were in the top 25. Illinois sits at No. 44 and seven other Big Ten teams crack the rankings, including No. 11 Michigan, No. 15 Northwestern, No. 25 Nebraska, No. 27 Purdue, No. 40 Indiana, No. 49 Penn State, and No. 72 Ohio State.
The Orange and Blue will return to action and travel to face Oklahoma next Saturday at 11 a.m. CT and Wichita State Sunday at 10 a.m. CT.