Illini take to the road for their first back to back road matches
Feb. 6, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Fighting Illini women’s tennis team will travel to Oklahoma and Wichita State this weekend. Illinois will face the No. 28 Sooners at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Norman, Okla., and will travel to compete against the Shockers in Wichita, Kan. on Sunday at 10 a.m.
The Illini trail Oklahoma in the all-time series 1-4, having last met the Sooners in 2013, where Illinois came out with a win, 5-2.
Wichita State and Illinois have only met four times, with the Illini leading 3-1. The two teams haven’t met since the 1989-1990 season where the Illini handedly beat the Shockers 8-1.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Oklahoma is 4-1 this spring, coming off of a 4-1 win against Memphis last Sunday. The Sooners are tied for 28th in the nation with Tulsa, and feature one ranked singles player, Hermon Brhane at No. 106. In doubles, the team has one ranked pair; Mia Lancaster and Whitney Ritche sit at No. 50.
Wichita State is 2-2 so far this season, and will face Fresno State on Saturday before meeting the Illini. The Shockers will be coming off a win over UMKC, 4-0.
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.
ITA NATIONAL RANKINGS
The Illini jumped two spots to No. 42 in the latest national team rankings after three wins at home. There were no new rankings this week due to ITA Indoor Championships.
LAST TIME OUT
Illinois split last weekend, losing to Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., and defeating TCU at home. The Illini came close, but the Irish beat them out 4-3 on Friday afternoon. Illinois returned home to take on and beat TCU on Sunday morning, winning handedly over the Horned Frogs 6-1.
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 to face Wake Forest at the Atkins Tennis Center on Saturday, Feb. 15 at noon.