#18 Illini Travel South for NCAA Tournament
May 10, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The 18th-ranked Fighting Illini women's tennis team (18-7) will travel to Ole Miss for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships, May 11-12 at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center in Oxford, Miss. Illinois will make its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance and will battle familiar foe No. 39 Rice (16-8) on Friday, May 11 at 11 a.m. The Orange and Blue took down the Owls, 5-1, earlier this spring to kick off their current 12-2 stretch. Southern (10-10) and host No. 16 Ole Miss (17-8) will square off in the other opening round match of the day at 2 p.m. The second-round match is slated to begin Saturday, May 12 at 3 p.m.
First- and second-round competition will take place May 11-13 at 16 different regional sites with the winner of each site advancing to the NCAA Division I Tennis Championships, May 17-22, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
ILLINI IN THE RANKINGS
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT RECAP
LAST TIME OUT VS. RICE - ILL 5, RICE 1
The Illini won the doubles point with a lineup of new doubles tandems, as sophomore Allison Falkin and senior Chelcie Abajian paired up for the first time this season to start the Illini off with an 8-2 win at the No. 3 spot. White and senior Amy Allin made their 2012 debut as a doubles team as well, capturing an 8-5 victory at No. 2 to give the Illini the 1-0 lead going into singles play.
White picked up where she left off, cruising to a quick 6-0, 6-3 victory over Kimberly Anicete at the No. 5 spot. Freshman Melissa Kopinski took down Katie Gater, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, at No. 3 singles for her team-leading 14th win of the season, allowing Lambropoulos to clinch the dual victory for the Orange and Blue with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 decision over Dominique Harmath at the No. 2 spot. Breanne Smutko added a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 win over Stephanie Nguyen at No. 6 before play was halted by rain, leaving the No. 4 match unfinished.
FALKIN, KOPINSKI, LAMBROPOULOS NAMED ALL-BIG TEN
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.
19TH ANNUAL ADVANTAGE ILLINOIS TENNIS AWARDS BANQUET
WHITE EARNS BIG TEN WEEKLY HONOR
White got off to a strong start, teaming up with sophomore Allison Falkin to take down No. 3 Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews in an 8-5 upset at the No. 1 spot, which clinched the doubles point for the Orange and Blue. White followed up her stellar doubles performance with a 6-0, 7-5 win in singles, giving Illinois a 3-2 lead going into the final two singles matches of the day.
The award marked the first for an Illini since Illinois graduate Megan Fudge garnered the honor on April 13, 2010.