Sophomore Annie McCarthy and doubles partner Amy Allin are 8-1 in doubles heading into this weekend.
March 11, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The No. 33-ranked Illinois women's tennis team, fresh off a conference opening sweep last weekend, hits the road for tough tests against No. 1 Northwestern and No. 72 Wisconsin this weekend. The Illini take on the Wildcats on Friday, March 13 at 5 p.m. CT at the Combe Tennis Center in Evanston, Ill., and then travel to Madison, Wis., to face the Badgers at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium on Mar. 15 at 11 a.m. CT.
In their conference-opening weekend, the hot-hitting Illini downed the No. 36-ranked Indiana Hoosiers, 5-2, at the Atkins Tennis Center in front of the faithful Illini fans. The Orange and Blue then traveled to West Lafayette, Ind., to take on the Purdue Boilermakers. The resilient Illini were strong again, battling to a 4-3 victory over the Boilermakers. With the two wins on the weekend the Illini extended their winning streak to eight, with their last loss coming all the way back on Jan. 31 to then-No. 5 Stanford in the second round of the ITA kickoff weekend.
Live scoring will be available for the match against the Wildcats and can be found at fightingillini.com, while fans can follow the action in Wisconsin with the game day blog available at uwbadgers.com. Full recaps of both matches can be found at fightingillini.com at the conclusion of play.
STATE OF THE ILLINI
The Illini (10-2, 2-0) are currently ranked No. 33 in the latest Campbell's Soup ITA poll. In singles, redshirt-sophomore Leigh Finnegan is ranked No. 86 in the nation. Finnegan is currently 15-5 overall on the year and 9-3 in dual matches, primarily seeing action in the No. 1 slot for the Orange and Blue. Illinois is also led by junior Megan Fudge, who leads the team in dual matches with a record of 11-1 and is 17-5 overall.
The 2009 ITA Attendance race is on and the Illini women are among the early leaders in the second annual race. The first standings reflect matches through January and February. The Illini women are fifth in total attendance with 627 fans coming to the friendly confines of the Atkins Tennis Center for the first five Illinois home matches this season. The Orange and Blue are also fifth in average attendance with approximately 125 fans attending each Illini home match. In the single match category, the Fighting Illini's season opener ranks fifth on the charts as 240 fans saw the Illini nearly upset the then-No. 24 ranked Tennessee Lady Volunteers.
The Wildcats have been on a roll this season, being ranked number one for all eight weeks of the season and winning the ITA National Women's Team Indoor Title. Northwestern has already started off hot with sweeps over Big Ten foes Wisconsin and Michigan State in the opening weekend. Four Wildcats are ranked in singles with sophomore Maria Mosolova (No. 2), senior Georgia Rose (No. 17), junior Samantha Murray (No. 36), and junior Lauren Lui (No. 109). In doubles, Northwestern has three tandems ranked: Georgia Rose and Lauren Lui (No. 22), Keri Robinson and Maria Mosolova (No. 42), and Keri Robinson and Samantha Murray (No. 74).
The Wildcats enter the weekend 11-1, with their lone loss to then-No. 6 (and current No. 3) Duke on Feb. 28 at home. In eight of Northwestern's dual victories, the opponent has been held to zero or one team point.
TAKING A LOOK AT THE BADGERS
The Badgers are 5-7 overall and 0-1 in conference play. In their opening Big Ten matchup, the Badgers faced top-ranked Northwestern at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium. The Wildcats proved their No. 1 ranking with a 7-0 victory over Wisconsin. Before that loss, Wisconsin was on a three-match win streak with wins over Marquette, Missouri and Oklahoma. The Badgers are currently ranked No. 72 in the country. Also ranked for Wisconsin is the doubles tandem of senior Elizabeth Carpenter and freshman Angela Chupa coming in at #44.
The last time these two teams met was back on March 29, 2008. The Illini handed the Badgers a 6-1 loss on the Atkins Tennis Center courts.
The Illini have a break in action before heading to Honolulu, Hawaii for the team's annual spring break trip where they will take on Washington on March 27 and then face the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on March 28.