Illini Set to Host Midwest Blast this Weekend
Nov. 1, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team will host the 2012 Midwest Blast this weekend at Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana. The tournament will run from Nov. 2-4 and will feature singles and doubles matches with Purdue, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech.
"We have some stellar teams participating in the Midwest Blast this year, so it should make for a very competitive atmosphere," Illini head coach Michelle Dasso said. "This marks the last tournament of the fall for the majority of our players, so it presents a good benchmark to see the strides we have made since August as well as the strides that still need to happen in our off-season."
The Illini will face Wake Forest in doubles action Friday at 9 a.m. before taking on Purdue in doubles at 3:30 p.m. and Georgia Tech in singles at 6 p.m. The Orange and Blue will return on Saturday for a doubles clash with Georgia Tech at 9 a.m., followed by singles against Wake Forest at 1 p.m. Illinois will close out play with singles against Purdue on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Georgia Tech finished the 2011-12 season ranked 20th, just ahead of No. 21 Illinois. Purdue was close behind, checking in at No. 26. The Illini lead the field with two ranked singles players, including No. 80 Melissa Kopinski and No. 82 Allison Falkin. The Yellow Jackets and Boilermakers have one ranked player apiece -- No. 94 Elizabeth Kilborn (GT) and No. 121 Lynda Xepoleas (PUR).
Kopinski, a sophomore, and senior Rachael White have highlighted the fall season for the Orange and Blue with the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional doubles title and a run to the doubles quarterfinals of the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. The tandem leads the team this fall with 12 wins, including five over nationally ranked opponents.
Juniors Falkin and Misia Kedzierski, sophomore Julia Jamieson and freshman Audrey O'Connor have also seen action this fall. The Illini have played in four tournaments, including the Duke Fab Four Invitational, All-American Championships, U.S. Air Force Academy Tennis Invitational and the Midwest Regional.
This weekend's competition will be the second of three tournaments hosted by the Illini in 2012-13. The Orange and Blue hosted the Midwest Regional two weeks ago and will welcome the nation's best teams to Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex for the 2013 NCAA Men's and Women's Tennis Championships, May 16-23.
Admission is free each day for the Midwest Blast.
Schedule of Play
Saturday, Nov. 3
Sunday, Nov. 4
All times central and subject to change.