Sujay Lama's squad takes on in-state rivals UIC and ISU Satuday at Atkins Tennis Center.
Feb. 2, 2006
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Three doubles teams are set to debut in a move head coach Sujay Lama hopes is another step toward making progress for a 48th-ranked Illinois women's tennis team that advanced five spots in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings this past week.
Against Saturday's visiting opponents, Illinois State and Illinois-Chicago, Lama expects to pair Harkins and Wang, Qu and Davé, and Knue and Meza Cuadra together.
"Practice has gone very well this week," Coach Lama said. "Our new doubles teams have jelled well. We have a great opportunity this weekend to test ourselves in both singles and doubles. The doubleheader is designed to test our physical and mental endurance. We are looking forward to the challenge."
Both the Redbirds and Flames played the Illini in an Atkins Tennis Center doubleheader last season, with Illinois blanking coach Chris Hoover's ISU contingent in the early match. The Big Ten hosts squeezed by Shannon's Tully 2005 UIC squad in a 4-3 afternoon match.
A 5-2 loss to the DePaul Blue Demons began the season for Illinois State prior to the team's visit to Urbana. Illinois-Chicago is 1-1 following a 6-1 loss to No. 37 Nebraska, the first of four ranked competitors for the Flames in 2006, and a 5-2 victory at Marquette on Wednesday.
The two Saturday contests are the beginning of four matches in eight days for the Illini. Illinois' visits to 20th-ranked William & Mary and 25th-ranked Wake Forest are slated for Feb. 10 and 12, respectively.