Women's Tennis
Falkin, Kopinski, Lambropoulos Named All-Big Ten

Senior Marisa Lambropoulos, freshman Melissa Kopinski and sophomore Allison Falkin each earned All-Big Ten honors.
Senior Marisa Lambropoulos, freshman Melissa Kopinski and sophomore Allison Falkin each earned All-Big Ten honors.

April 27, 2012

PARK RIDGE, Ill. - University of Illinois sophomore Allison Falkin, freshman Melissa Kopinski and senior Marisa Lambropoulos each earned All-Big Ten honors, the conference office announced at the 2012 Big Ten Tournament Awards Banquet. Falkin and Kopinski garnered first-team recognition, marking career firsts for both athletes, while Lambropoulos earned second-team recognition to garner the first conference honor of her career. The announcement marks the first time Illinois has produced three All-Big Ten honorees in program history and is the 12th straight year at least one Illini has been named All-Conference.

"I'm incredibly proud of Allison, Melissa and Marisa for the recognition they received in the Big Ten," Illini head coach Michelle Dasso said. "To have three Illinois players on the All-Conference team, as well as two different players a year ago, shows the tremendous depth of our program. Every individual has stepped up at different times, and we all truly have a team-first mentality."

Kopinski leads the team this season with a 22-5 mark overall in singles, including a 17-4 dual record while playing primarily on courts two and three. The Palos Hills, Ill., native went 7-2 in the conference and cracked the national singles rankings earlier this year, reaching as high as No. 124. She also posted a solid season in doubles, going 21-5 overall and 9-2 in the Big Ten to lead the team in both categories.

Falkin is 16-13 overall and 6-5 in the conference, competing at Nos. 1 and 2. The Roswell, Ga., native earned a spot in the national rankings for the first time in her career and climbed as high as No. 92 earlier this season. In doubles, she reached No. 40 alongside junior Rachael White.

Lambropoulos is tied for first on the team with a 9-2 conference doubles record. The Lake Forest, Ill., native and Kopinski lead the team with a 14-3 mark when playing together. The pair is 8-1 in the conference and ranked 53rd nationally. Individually, Lambropoulos ranks second on the team with 17 singles wins this season.

Kopinski also was Illinois' Sportsmanship Award honoree, given to individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship, ethical behavior and strong academic performance and who have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.

Kopinski, Falkin and Lambropoulos join 2011 All-Big Ten honorees White and senior Amy Allin as current Illini who have earned the recognition.

First Team All-Big Ten

Allison Falkin, Illinois
Melissa Kopinski, Illinois
Leslie Hureau, Indiana
Natallia Pintusava, Minnesota
Belinda Niu, Northwestern
KATE TURVY, Northwestern
Jennifer Rabot, Purdue

Second Team All-Big Ten
Marisa Lambropoulos, Illinois
Sarah Lee, Michigan
Patricia Veresova, Nebraska
Brittany Wowchuck, Northwestern
Chelsea Utting, Penn State
Alaina Trgovich, Wisconsin

Unanimous selections in CAPS

Athlete of the Year: Mary Weatherholt, Nebraska
Freshman of the Year: EMINA BEKTAS, Michigan
Co-Coach of the Year: Ronni Bernstein, Michigan
Co-Coach of the Year: Scott Jacobson, Nebraska

Unanimous selections in CAPS

Melissa Kopinski, Illinois
Sophie Garre, Indiana
Cassandra Escobar, Iowa
Mimi Nguyen, Michigan
Dana Guentert, Michigan State
Alexa Palen, Minnesota
Mary Weatherholt, Nebraska
Veronica Corning, Northwestern
Tiffany Dittmer, Ohio State
Nina Sertic, Penn State
Lynda Xepoleas, Purdue
Nicky Stracar, Wisconsin