Illinois will honor senior Shivani Davé prior to Sunday's match against the Wolverines.
April 16, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The No. 33 Illinois women's tennis team wraps up the regular season at home this weekend, hosting Big Ten foes Michigan State, on Sat. April 18, and No. 18 Michigan on Sun. April 19. Both matches are set for 12 p.m. CT starts and will be held at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.
The Illini, currently tied for second place in the Big Ten with the Michigan Wolverines, will honor senior Shivani Davé before Sunday's match. Also at Sunday's match, there will be free food and refreshments for all fans provided by Advantage Illinois, the official support group of Illinois tennis. At the intermission between singles and doubles, four Illinois men's basketball players Mike Davis, CJ Jackson, Alex Legion and Bubba Chisholm, will play an exhibition doubles match. Students can also bring the print ad cut-out from the Daily Illini and get a free Illinois tennis t-shirt for themselves and their mom to celebrate Illinois' Mom's Weekend.
The Illini are coming off a successful road trip, tallying two conference wins over No. 39 Ohio State and Penn State this past weekend. It was an impressive team effort on Friday, April 10 defeating the Buckeyes, 5-2. After falling early in doubles, the Illini bounced back with five singles victories, with four out of the five matches decided in third set triumphs. Against the Nittany Lions, the Illini did not drop a set in the 7-0 Illinois sweep.
Live scoring will be available for both home matches this weekend and can be found at fightingillini.com.
STATE OF THE ILLINI
The Illini (16-5, 7-1) continue their climb up the Campbell/Intercollegiate Tennis Association polls, topping the charts this week at No. 33. Junior Megan Fudge launched 33 spots in the singles rankings, coming in at No. 75 in the most recent poll (4/14) moving up from No. 108, after upsetting then-35th ranked Kelcy Tefft at No. 1 singles on April 7. Redshirt-sophomore Leigh Finnegan also made a jump in the rankings, moving up to No. 99 in singles.
FUDGE BIG TEN PLAYER OF WEEK
Junior Megan Fudge was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the week ending April 12, the conference office announced on Tuesday, April 14. Fudge led the Illini charge this past weekend, launching the Illini into a tie for second place in the Big Ten, with two key conference wins over Ohio State and Penn State. Fudge went 3-0 in singles and 2-1 in doubles over the course of the week.
The Illini junior began the week with an upset win over 35th-ranked Kelcy Tefft of No. 4 Notre Dame. The 108th-ranked Fudge was almost unstoppable in her comeback in the second and third sets at No. 1 singles, taking the match 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (11-9) for the victory. Fudge notched another win in No. 36-ranked Illinois' hard-fought, 5-2 triumph over the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Kaarst, Germany native battled hard at No.1 singles, pulling through for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over Ohio State's Kirsten Flower. Fudge rounded out the week with a dominating straight sets' 6-2, 6-1 win over Penn State's Denisa Zobeideh at No. 2 singles. The victory over Zobeideh was Fudge's 25th overall singles victory of the season, the most wins she has recorded in a single season at Illinois in her career. In dual matches, Fudge is 19-2.
Prior to Sunday's match against the Michigan Wolverines, the Illini will recognize lone senior Shivani Davé in her last home match at Illinois. Davé has been a staple in the Illinois lineup over the past four years, tallying 64 singles victories and 41 doubles wins.
2009 BIG TEN STANDINGS (As of 4/12)
BIG TEN OVERALL
1. Northwestern 8-0 19-1
2. Illinois 7-1 16-5
Michigan 7-1 13-5
4. Ohio State 6-2 13-8
5. Indiana 5-3 13-8
6. Purdue 3-5 7-11
7. Wisconsin 2-6 7-13
Penn State 2-6 5-15
9. Minnesota 2-7 9-11
Iowa 2-7 7-13
11. Mich. State 1-7 8-13
The 2009 ITA attendance race is on and the Illini women are among the leaders in the second annual race. The Illini women came in fourth for the average attendance in the month of March, as 147 faithful fans attended the Illini match versus Indiana; when the Illini took a 5-2 win over the Hoosiers.
TAKING A LOOK AT THE SPARTANS
The Spartans have had a rocky season, currently 8-13 overall, and in last place in the Big Ten Conference with a 1-7 record. The Spartans are led by senior Stephanie Kebler is 9-12 overall and 1-7 in Big Ten play. Freshman Dana Guentart has had a positive first year with a 18-6 overall record and a 6-1 record against Big Ten opponents. In doubles, Kebler and freshman Elena Ivanova have a 7-3 overall record and are listed in the ITA doubles poll at No. 74.
Illinois All-time Record vs. Michigan State: 24-10
Last Meeting: 3/23/08, W, 4-3 at Michigan State
SCOUTING THE WOLVERINES
Michigan is ranked 18th in the nation and has won eight of their last nine matches, with the only loss coming to No. 1 Northwestern at the end of March. Currently, the Wolverines are 13-5 with a 7-1 record in the Big Ten Conference and are tied for second place in the conference with Illinois. Two members of the team are listed in the latest Campbell/ITA singles poll and one doubles teams are also ranked. In singles, senior Chisako Sugiyama is No. 70 with a 12-6 dual record and a 6-2 singles record in Big Ten Play. Sophomore Rika Tatsuno is No. 106 with a 11-7 dual record and a 20-10 overall record. As for doubles, Sugiyama and junior Tania Mahtani are listed at No. 24 and have won their last seven matches at number one doubles.
Illinois All-time Record vs. Michigan: 11-21
Last Meeting: 4/4/09, L, 5-2 at Michigan
After wrapping up its final regular season dual weekend, the Illini prepare to travel to Madison, Wisc., to take part in the 2009 Big Ten Championships, hosted by the Wisconsin Badgers, April 23-26.