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    Illinois Takes on Ranked DePaul Friday; Travels to Kansas Sunday
    Redshirt freshman Leigh Finnegan and the Illini prepare for tough weekend at home and on the road.

    Redshirt freshman Leigh Finnegan and the Illini prepare for tough weekend at home and on the road.

    Feb. 6, 2008

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois women's tennis team returns home to the friendly confines of the Atkins Tennis Center to face the No. 60 DePaul Blue Demons on Friday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. The No. 60 Blue Demons are the fourth ranked opponent in-a-row for the Orange and Blue. The Illini finish the weekend in Lawrence, Kan., where they face the University of Kansas Jayhawks on Feb. 10, with first serve set for noon CT.

    "This weekend could potentially be the turning point of our season," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "We've had a few opportunities slip away, but the team has continued to work hard, persevere and that is why there's no doubt in my mind that this team will come together. The girls are looking forward to playing on their home courts this Friday night against DePaul."

    All of Illinois home matches can be followed through live scoring, while a full recap of Illinois' matches this weekend will be available at the conclusion of action each day. To access recaps and live stats for the DePaul match, go to the official home of Illinois women's tennis, www.fightingillini.com, and click on the women's tennis home page. Live scoring is not available for the Illini's match against Kansas on Sunday.

    STATE OF THE ILLINI
    The Illinois women's tennis team played a strong away match this weekend, but a tough No. 21 Florida State tennis squad was too much in the end as the Illini dropped a 7-0 decision to the Seminoles on the road on Feb. 3. The No. 21 Seminoles were the third ranked opponent in-a-row for the Illini (2-3) who dropped below .500 for the first time on the young season with the loss.

    The Illini are led by sophomore Megan Fudge this season at No. 1 singles. Over the weekend, Fudge endured one of the closest matches, taking the thriller into a third set. Yet, despite winning the opening set, Fudge could not hold on in the end, dropping the three-set marathon to Florida State's Lauren Macfarlane. With the loss, the Kaarst, Germany native is now 11-6 on the year and 3-2 in dual action this season.

    SCOUTING THE BLUE DEMONS
    After defeating No. 66 Western Michigan (6-1) on Feb. 3, the No. 60 DePaul Blue Demons improved to 5-1 on the season. The Blue Demons only loss has come to the No. 47 Denver Pioneers (1-6), while its other four wins were recorded against Ball State (7-0), No. 38 Colorado (4-3), Western Illinois (7-0) and Butler (6-1). Dunja Antunovic leads the Blue Demons at No. 1 singles with an 11-8 overall record, 4-2 in duals.

    LOOKING AT THE JAYHAWKS
    The Kansas Jayhawks fell to 0-2 on the season after losing to No. 44 Tulsa (4-3) on Feb. 3. The Jayhawks also dropped their season opener against No. 39 Arkansas (5-2). Elizayeta Aydeeva dropped her first two dual matches at No. 1 singles, but has been a consistent leader for Kansas this season. Magdalena Tokarczyk and Edina Horvath are each 2-0 in singles play, respectively, to hold down the middle of the Jayhawks' lineup. Playing at No. 1 doubles, Aydeeva and Horvath are 2-0, to lead the solid doubles lineup for the Jayhawks, heading into the weekend.

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