Illini Welcome Penn State and Ohio State This Weekend
March 26, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team will host the Penn State Nittany Lions and Ohio State Buckeyes this weekend at the Atkins Tennis Center. The Illini and Nittany Lions will face off at 11 a.m. Saturday, and Sunday the Orange and Blue take on the Buckeyes at noon.
Illinois leads the all-time series against PSU 21-2. The Illini last lost to Penn State during the 2005-06 season at University Park 3-4. During their last meeting, the Illini defeated No. 38 Penn State 5-2 in University Park.
The Illini also lead the series against OSU 33-13 in all-time matches. The Illini last met the Buckeyes in Columbus, where the Orange and Blue won 5-2. Illinois last lost to Ohio State during the 2010-11 season 3-4.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Penn State is 4-11 this spring, going 0-3 in Big Ten play so far. The Nittany Lions last faced Michigan, losing 7-0 this past Sunday to the Wolverines.
The Buckeyes are 11-5 this season, and 2-1 in Big Ten play. This past weekend, OSU beat Michigan state 5-2 at home. The Buckeyes will travel to Evanston, Ill. on Saturday to face Northwestern before heading down to Champaign-Urbana. Ohio State is currently ranked 54th in the country, with two ranked doubles teams. Gainne O'Neill and Noelle Malley are ranked 69th along with Ferny Angeles Paz and Mihio Kowase at 80th.
CAMPBELL/ITA NATIONAL RANKINGS
Illinois jumped in the rankings to No. 37, with no singles or doubles rankings. 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 went 2-0 this past weekend, beating both Southern Illinois and Indiana at the Atkins Tennis Center. Illinois nearly swept the Salukis on Friday afternoon, going 6-1 for the win. The Orange and Blue welcomed Indiana on Sunday morning and beat the Hoosiers 5-2.
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 next weekend against Michigan State and Michigan on April 5 and 6 at 11 a.m.