Illini Open Fall Season on Both Coasts
Sept. 26, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team is opening the fall schedule on both coasts this weekend. Head coach Michelle Dasso will travel with Audrey O'Connor, Julia Jamieson, Alexis Casati and Emily Barretta to the West Point Invitational, while assistant coach Ric Mortera will travel with Allison Falkin and Melissa Kopinski to the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships in Los Angeles, Calif.
Falkin and Kopinski, each ranked nationally as singles players and also as a doubles team, return to the All-American Championships after competing there last year. In singles, Falkin lost in the pre-qualifying round, while Kopinski lost in the qualifying round. Kopinski teamed with Rachael White to reach the quarterfinals of the main draw in doubles.
This year, Kopinski will start her singles run at the pre-qualifying round on Sept. 28 in Westwood, Calif., and Falkin will begin play in the qualifying round on Oct. 1 in Los Angeles. The pair will begin doubles action in the qualifying round on Oct. 1.
"I'm excited about that tournament because of their experience," head coach Michelle Dasso said. "They've been there. They know what it's like. It's a prestigious tournament; it's the best of the best. Every match they can get under their belts is going to be a learning experience and an opportunity."
Dasso is traveling with O'Connor, Jamieson, Casati and Barretta to the West Point Invitational in West Point, N.Y., from Sept. 27-29. Casati will be competing in the first action of her Illini career, and O'Connor will reunite with her twin sister, Haley, who plays for Army.
"I'm really excited for them, especially for my one freshman (traveling) for the first time," Dasso said. "We are going to play a lot of different teams that we never typically play. Secondly, it's an opportunity to see a lot of the girls play with different doubles pairings for the first time. There's definitely a lot to look forward to."