Women's Tennis
Illini Head to Indiana for Big Ten Tournament

The Illini will square off with Michigan State Thursday at 9 a.m. CT.
The Illini will square off with Michigan State Thursday at 9 a.m. CT.

April 25, 2013

Notes | Tournament Central

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team (13-10, 6-5 Big Ten) will return to Bloomington, Ind., for the 2013 Big Ten Tournament, April 25-28 at the IU Varsity Tennis Courts. Illinois earned the No. 5 seed in the tournament after tying for fifth with Indiana in the regular season. The Illini will face 12th-seeded Michigan State (11-15, 1-10) on Thursday at 9 a.m. CT. The winner will advance to the quarterfinals to take on fourth-seeded Purdue (16-4, 8-3) on Friday at 9 a.m. Semifinals will take place Saturday at 9 a.m., and the championship match is slated for Sunday at 11 a.m.

BTN will air tape-delayed coverage of Sunday's championship match on Monday, May 6 at 5 p.m. CT.

Michigan State is 11-15 overall and 1-10 in the conference after winning its first Big Ten match of the season last Friday in a 5-2 battle against Ohio State. Before their win over the Buckeyes, the Spartans had lost 11 straight matches. Marina Bohrer leads MSU with 14 singles wins, including three over ranked opponents. Illinois defeated Michigan State, 6-1, on April 7 and leads the all-time series, 30-10.

The Illini jumped four spots to No. 43 in the latest national team rankings after edging Indiana, 4-3, but falling to Purdue, 5-2. Senior Rachael White and sophomore Melissa Kopinski remained at No. 25 in doubles for the second straight week. Kopinski also is ranked in singles, checking in at No. 111, while sophomore Allison Falkin is ranked No. 117.

Illinois earned the third seed in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament and knocked off sixth-seeded Minnesota, 4-0, to advance to semifinals. There, the Illini lost, 4-0, to second-seeded Michigan. The Wolverines fell to fourth-seeded Purdue in the final the following day.

The Fighting Illini closed out the regular season with a 5-2 loss to Purdue last Sunday afternoon at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex. Senior Rachael White helped the Illini win the doubles point and captured her fifth straight singles victory, but the Boilermakers spoiled Illinois' four-match winning streak on Senior Day.

The Illini are 12-2 when winning the doubles point and are 1-8 when losing in doubles. The Orange and Blue won four straight doubles decisions from Feb. 2-24, never losing a dual match or a doubles point throughout the entire month of February.

Fighting Illini women's tennis head coach Michelle Dasso announced on Feb. 13 the addition of two assistant coaches to her staff. Mark Denenfeld and Kelly Anderson will aid Illinois for the remainder of its 2013 campaign.

Denenfeld played at Kalamazoo College from 2009-12 and earned all-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association honors in three of his four years. Anderson wrapped up a stellar four-year playing career at Georgia Tech in 2006. The South Africa native was named ACC Rookie of the Year in 2003 and garnered all-ACC honors in 2004. She reached as high as No. 135 in the world doubles rankings in 2008. Anderson recently earned an MBA from Campbellsville University, where she served as the assistant coach for both the men's and women's tennis teams.

Seventeen of Illinois' 23 regular season opponents were nationally ranked to start the season, and six were in the top 25. Nine other Big Ten teams cracked the initial rankings, including then-No. 13 Northwestern, No. 16 Michigan, No. 17 Nebraska, No. 27 Purdue, No. 41 Minnesota, No. 49 Indiana, No. 50 Penn State, No. 57 Ohio State and No. 75 Wisconsin.

The University of Illinois will host the NCAA Men's and Women's Tennis Championships for the first time in school history, May 16-27 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center. The first six days of competition (May 16-21) will include the Round of 16 and beyond of the team championships, while the final six days (May 22-27) will feature the men's and women's 64-player singles and 32-player doubles championships.

All-session and single-day tickets are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets by calling the Illinois Ticket Office at 866-Illini-1 or by visiting Fightingillini.com. Adult all-session tickets are $100, while youth (18 and under) all-session tickets are $75. Single-day tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for youth. Admission is free for children age two or younger. Groups of 10 or more can purchase single-day group tickets at $5 apiece by calling the Illinois Ticket Office.