Illini Welcome Southern Illinois this Weekend
Feb. 27, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team will host Southern Illinois this Sunday at the Atkins Tennis Center. The Fighting Illini and Salukis will face off at 4 p.m.
Illinois leads the all-time series against the Salukis 9-5. The Illini last lost to Southern during the 1982-83 season in Carbondale 4-5. The two teams last met during the 1990-91 season, where the Orange and Blue came away with an 8-1 win.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Southern Illinois is 6-3 this spring, coming off of 5-2 and 4-3 wins over Tennessee-Martin and Southeast Missouri, respectively, Sunday, Feb. 23. After starting the season 0-3, the Salukis are on a 5-match winning streak this season, having last lost on Feb. 7 to Eastern Illinois. Junior Natasha Tomishima went 5-0 in both singles and doubles action this past weekend, playing in the No. 1 slot.
CAMPBELL/ITA NATIONAL RANKINGS
Illinois climbed 15 spots in the rankings to No. 27 this week. 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 2-1, dropping a match to No. 14 Alabama. The Crimson Tide clinched their 4-0 win early on in the match, with one doubles and three singles matches not finishing.
The Illini bounced back to defeat Yale 4-3, with Allison Falkin having the match of the day. Falkin had a solid comeback to win 5-7, 6-1, 11-9 over Yale's Hamilton. The Illini took the doubles point quickly with wins from the Kopinski/Casati and Kedzierski/Kwong duos.
The Orange and Blue also had success over Oklahoma State. The two teams met earlier this season at the Maui Invitational, where the Illini fell 3-7. The match skipped over doubles and went straight to singles play, where three Illini went to tiebreakers. Kopinski and Kwong won 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 and 2-6, 7-5, 11-9, respectively.
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 begin Big Ten play next weekend against Northwestern. The Illini will host the Wildcats Saturday, March 8 at Noon.