The Fighting Illini hope to end their 2 match losing streak Saturday afternoon
Feb. 13, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Fighting Illini women’s tennis team will host Wake Forest this Saturday at the Atkins Tennis Center. the Fighting Illini and Demon Deacons will face off at 10 a.m.
Illinois has only faced Wake Forest twice in program history, first meeting during the 2000-01 season where the Illini won the match 5-2 over the No. 8 Deacs. Wake also came to the Midwest Blast Tournament in the fall, where Illinois beat the Deacons in a close 4-3 match.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Wake Forest is 7-0 this spring and is coming off of a 5-2 win over William & Mary last Sunday. The Deacons have had a solid spring, with their closest match being a 4-3 win at VCU last Saturday. The Illini hope to hand the Deacons their first loss of the season. Wake Forest sits at No. 61 as a team, with one ranked doubles team. Samantha Asch and Luisa Fernandez are ranked No. 50 in the nation.
Saturday marks the Valentine’s Day themed match for the Illini, dubbed Stack Saturday. Valentine’s Day-themed pancakes will be served and there will be a valentine making station for children to make valentines for their loved ones.
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
Illinois fell one spot and now sits at No. 43 in the nation as a team. In the regional rankings, Melissa Kopinski is No. 10 in the Midwest singles, followed by Allison Falkin and Alexis Casati at No. 14 and No. 15 respectively. Kopinski/Casati are the only doubles team for Illinois in the rankings, holding steady at No. 10 in Midwest.
LAST TIME OUT
The Illini came out of last weekend 0-2, dropping close matches to Oklahoma and Wichita State. The Illini suffered a 5-2 loss to the Sooners on Saturday, with freshmen Alexis Casati and Louise Kwong coming away with the only Illini wins of the day. Doubles was a struggle for Illinois, losing the first two matches 6-1 and leaving the Kedzierski/Kwong match unfinished.
The Orange and Blue also had a close 4-3 match at Wichita State. Casati and Kwong went undefeated yet again, making them the only two Illini without a loss this season. Allison Falkin also stepped up to win her match 2-6, 7-5, 31-11. In doubles, the Illini failed to capture the point again, but came away with one win from the Kopinski/Casati duo.
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 on Feb. 21 when they travel to Montgomery, Ala. to compete in the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic.