Illini Host Iowa and Nebraska This Weekend
April 10, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team (10-8, 3-4 Big Ten) will host the Iowa Hawkeyes and Nebraska Corn Huskers this weekend at the Atkins Tennis Center. The Illini and Hawkeyes will face off at noon on Saturday, and Sunday the Orange and Blue take on the Huskers at noon.
Illinois leads the close all-time series against Iowa 26-24. During their last meeting, the Illini lost to the Hawkeyes at Iowa City 5-2. The Orange and Blue last beat the Hawkeyes during the 2012 season 6-1.
The Illini trail in the all-time series to Nebraska 1-3 in the short time the Huskers have been in the Big Ten. Nebraska last faced Illinois in Lincoln during 2013, where the Huskers won 6-1. The last and only time the Illini have beaten Big Red was in 2012, the last time the Huskers played at the Atkins Tennis Center.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Iowa is 8-10 this spring, going 1-6 in Big Ten play so far. The Hawkeyes last faced Indiana, losing 4-3 this past Sunday to the Hoosiers. Iowa boasts one ranked singles player, Ruth Seaborne, who ranks 113 in the nation.
The Huskers are 7-12 this season, and 0-7 in Big Ten play. This past weekend, Nebraska fell to Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind. 6-1. The Huskers will travel to Evanston, Ill. on Saturday to face Northwestern before heading down to Champaign-Urbana.
The Orange and Blue will honor seniors Allison Falkin and Misia Kedzierski on Sunday. Falkin is a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and led the Illini last year with a 19-11 singles record and a 6-2 mark at No. 1 singles.
Kedzierski, who suffered an injury that limited her play early in her career at Illinois, has seen increased playing time in each of her three seasons in Urbana-Champaign and picked up a career-best 14 singles wins last year. Falkin and Kedzierski teamed up in doubles last season and went 11-5 overall and 10-4 in the dual season.
CAMPBELL/ITA NATIONAL RANKINGS
Illinois fell in the national rankings to 42, 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 0-2 this past weekend, falling to both Michigan State and Michigan. Illinois fell 4-3 in a close match against the Spartans. The Orange and Blue traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich. on Sunday morning and lost to the Wolverines 7-0.
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 Minnesota and Wisconsin at 3 p.m. CT and 11 a.m. CT, respectively.