No. 86-ranked Leigh Finnegan and the Illini host Indiana in their Big Ten opener on Saturday.
March 5, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The No. 51-ranked Illinois women's tennis team (8-2) opens its Big Ten season at home this weekend as it hosts the No. 36-ranked Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday, Mar. 7 at 12 p.m. CT. The Illini wrap up the conference-opening weekend when they travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to face the Purdue Boilermakers on Sunday, Mar. 8 at 11 a.m. CT.
"The girls are excited to kick off our Big Ten season, and what better way to do so then at home in front of the great fans at the Atkins Tennis Center," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "This is what we've been working so hard for and the girls are ready to go out and continue our strong start to the season."
Livestats for the both matches can be found at fightingillini.com.
In the first computer rankings of the season, the Illini came in at No. 51 in the most recent Campbell's Soup / ITA Rankings (3/3). Illinois (8-2) holds a six match-winning streak after downing the Marquette Golden Eagles, 6-1, this past weekend. Individually, redshirt-sophomore Leigh Finnegan is ranked No. 86. Finnegan is off to an impressive start to the 2009 season, compiling a dual match record of 7-3 at the No. 1 singles spot for the Orange and Blue.
FUDGE WITH A CHERRY ON TOP
Junior Megan Fudge has started out the season on an impressive streak. The Kaarst, Germany, native has been a force in the Illinois lineup and is currently 10-0 in dual matches, heading into the weekend. Fudge has compiled an overall record for the 2008-09 season of 16-4, inching closer to having her third consecutive season with 20+ wins.
ILLINOIS VS. INDIANA
The Illini are 5-33 all-time against the Hoosiers. The most recent meeting came last season where the No. 29-ranked Indiana won a close 4-3 match over the No. 58 Illinois.
Indiana is currently ranked No. 36 and is 8-4 on the season. The Hoosiers have faced some tough losses against ranked teams Tennessee and Duke and have faced some trouble on the road going winless for the season so far. Indiana is coming off of a 4-3 win over No. 23 Wake Forest on Feb. 28. Senior Sigrid Fisher leads the team in singles with an impressive 9-3 record for the season.
ILLINOIS VS. PURDUE
The Fighting Illini hold a 20-27 record against the Boilermakers. Last year, the No. 65 Illinois went on the road and defeated Purdue 4-3.
Last weekend Purdue opened Big Ten play with a 6-1 win at Penn State. Purdue is currently 5-4, 1-0 on the season and has a two-match win streak. Freshman Jennifer Rabot has the most singles wins for the team with seven, while junior Tatiana Ganzha has six singles wins on the season. Junior Michelle Sammons and senior Stephanie Wooten have racked up a 6-3 record at No. 1 doubles for the Boilermakers.
The Illini hit the road next weekend as they travel to face Northwestern Wildcats on March 13 at 5 p.m. CT. The Orange and Blue continue the conference road swing as they head to Wisconsin for a matchup with the Badgers on March 15 at 11 a.m. CT.