The No. 21 Illini will host Indiana on Friday and will travel to Purdue on Sunday.
April 19, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The 21st-ranked University of Illinois women's tennis team (15-6, 7-2 Big Ten) will wrap up the regular season this weekend, hosting Indiana (15-8, 4-5) in a Senior Day showdown Friday at 4 p.m. at Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex before heading to West Lafayette, Ind., to take on Purdue (14-4, 6-3) Sunday at 11 a.m.
The Illini have won the last three matches against Indiana, including a 4-3 win in 2011. Despite Illinois' recent success, the Hoosiers boast a 33-9 lead all-time.
Illinois has claimed its last six matches against Purdue dating back to 2008, evening the all-time series at 27 wins apiece. Last season, the Orange and Blue downed the Boilermakers twice, claiming a 4-3 decision at home and a 4-1 finish in Ann Arbor, Mich., to advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
No. 47 Indiana is 15-8 overall and 4-5 in the conference this season. The squad ranks sixth in the Big Ten standings after losing its last three matches, including a 7-0 shutout to Minnesota and a 5-2 decision to Wisconsin last weekend. The roster features one ranked singles player, No. 77 Leslie Hureau.
No. 29 Purdue is 14-4 overall and 6-3 in the Big Ten heading into the weekend but will face No. 12 Northwestern before hosting the Illini on Sunday. The Boilermakers have won their last three matches and are coming off a 5-2 win over Wisconsin and a 4-3 victory over Minnesota last weekend, putting them fourth in the conference.
The Illini will honor seniors Chelcie Abajian, Amy Allin and Marisa Lambropoulos prior to the match. All three seniors have contributed throughout their time at Illinois. Both Abajian and Allin enter the weekend with 69 doubles wins all-time, while Allin has 78 wins on her own. Lambropoulos has 78 doubles wins to go along with 76 singles victories.
BIG TEN STANDINGS
With two Big Ten matches left heading into the weekend, Michigan (15-6, 8-1) and Northwestern (15-7, 8-1) top the conference standings. Illinois (15-6, 7-2) and Nebraska (21-3, 7-2) are in third, followed by Purdue (14-4, 6-3) in fourth, Indiana (15-8, 4-5) and Minnesota (14-6, 4-5) in sixth, Ohio State (8-14, 3-6) and Penn State (11-9, 3-6) in eighth, Iowa (8-12, 2-7) and Wisconsin (11-10, 2-7) in 10th and Michigan State (8-12, 0-9) in 12th.
CAMPBELL/ITA NATIONAL RANKINGS
The Illini improved two spots, jumping to No. 21 in the latest national team rankings, which were released April 17. Individually, Allison Falkin checked in at No. 98 in singles. In doubles, Falkin and junior Rachael White were ranked 48th, while freshman Melissa Kopinski and redshirt senior Marisa Lambropoulos were 59th.
LAST TIME OUT
The No. 23 Illini women's tennis team captured its third straight win with a 5-2 decision over Penn State last Sunday at Atkins Tennis Center. Redshirt senior Marisa Lambropoulos clinched the victory, while senior Amy Allin and sophomore Allison Falkin secured their second singles wins of the weekend.
The Orange and Blue got off to a strong start, sweeping doubles for the eighth time this season to claim their sixth doubles point in their last seven outings. Allin and junior Rachael White led off with an 8-2 win over Marie-Frederique Bedard and Carmen Sandor at the No. 2 spot, while No. 57 duo Lambropoulos and freshman Melissa Kopinski cruised to their team-leading 11th win of the dual season with an 8-3 decision over No. 84 Petra Januskova and Chelsea Utting at the top position, giving the Illini a 1-0 advantage. Senior Chelcie Abajian and Falkin turned in an 8-3 victory over Fernanda Perrotta and Nina Sertic at the No. 3 spot to complete the doubles sweep.
Despite dropping the first completed singles match, Illinois sealed the win with victories on four courts. White took a quick 6-4, 6-2 win over Bedard at the No. 5 spot, while Allin breezed through a 6-0, 6-4 match against Sandor on court four to claim her third straight win. Lambropoulos added a 6-2, 6-3 win over Perrotta at the No. 3 position, clinching the Orange and Blue victory, and No. 119 Falkin ended the day with a 7-5, 3-6, (10-5) decision over No. 74 Januskova on court one, marking the third straight win for the Roswell, Ga., native.
The 4-3 win at then-No. 9 Texas marked Illinois' first victory over the Longhorns in program history (1-4 all-time) and its first win over a top-10 team since defeating No. 1 Duke on Feb. 23, 2003. The upset also was the Orange and Blue's first win over a top-25 team since downing No. 22 Iowa on April 10, 2010. The 4-3 win over No. 25 Nebraska was Illinois' first-ever victory over the Cornhuskers (1-2 all-time).
The Orange and Blue will return to action next week at the 2012 Big Ten Tournament, April 26-29 in Columbus, Ohio.