Illini Head to Northwestern for Big Ten Tournament
April 23, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill.- The Fighting Illini women's tennis team (13-9, 6-5 Big Ten) will head to Evanston, Ill. For the 2014 Big Ten Tournament April 24-27 at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center. Illinois earned the No. 5 seed in the tournament after tying with Indiana and Minnesota in the regular season. The Illini will face the 12th-seeded Nebraska (8-16, 0-11) on Thursday at 10 a.m. CT. The winner will advance to the quarterfinals to take on fourth-seeded Purdue (11-9, 7-4) on Friday at 10 a.m. Semifinals will take place Saturday at 10 a.m., and the championship match is slated for Sunday at Noon.
SCOUTING THE HUSKERS
Nebraska is 8-16 overall and 0-11 in the Big Ten after La 4-0 loss to Ohio State. Maike Zeppernick leads the Huskers with 5 wins over Big Ten opponents, followed by teammate Maggy Lehmicke who is 13-7 this spring, going 2-7 against Big Ten opponents. In doubles, Lehmicke and Mary Hanna lead with a 9-7 Big Ten record, going 12-8 overall this spring at No. 1. The last Husker win was March 9 against Miami (Ohio) where Nebraska beat the Red Hawks 4-3.
CAMPBELL/ITA NATIONAL RANKINGS
Illinois climbed in the national rankings to 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.
2013 BIG TEN TOURNAMENT RECAP
Illinois earned the fifth seed in the 2013 Big Ten Tournament and knocked off 12th-seeded Michigan State 4-1 to advance to the semifinals. There, the Illini lost 4-1 to fourth-seeded Purdue. The Boilermakers fell to Michigan 4-0 in the semifinals the following day.
LAST TIME OUT
The Illini went 2-0 this past weekend, besting Minnesota and Wisconsin on the road. Friday afternoon they beat the Golden Gophers in a close 4-3 match, and Sunday the Illini handed the Badgers a 5-2 loss on Senior Day.
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.