Rachael White and Melissa Kopinski will face South Carolina's Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova on Thursday in the opening round of the NCAA Doubles Championship.
May 22, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Fighting Illini senior Rachael White and sophomore Melissa Kopinski return to their home court to face South Carolina's Jaklin Alawi and Dominika Kanakova on Thursday in the opening round of the NCAA Doubles Championship. The 32-player doubles tournament runs from May 23-27 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex. The NCAA will announce times for doubles matches tonight.
White and Kopinski make up the fourth-ever Illinois doubles team to earn a trip to the NCAA Championships and first since Jennifer McGaffigan and Michelle Webb in 2003.
The Illinois duo was ranked 22nd in the latest ITA national rankings, which were released May 2. The pair led the Illini with a 26-12 mark this season and won the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional doubles title last fall, becoming the first Orange and Blue tandem to capture the title since McGaffigan and Webb in 2002. White and Kopinski also played their way to the quarterfinals of the USTA/ITA All-American Championships and knocked off five ranked opponents, including two in the top 10, in the process.
Alawi and Kanakova are ranked 29th in the nation and boasted a 24-10 mark in the regular season, leading the Gamecocks in doubles wins. The duo knocked off two top-10 opponents this year, including No. 7 Alex Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane of Alabama and No. 10 Pleun Burgmans and Plamena Kurteva of Auburn.
Fans can purchase tickets at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex, at 866-Illini-1 or online. 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.