CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Illinois women’s tennis team ended the month of January with back-to-back losses in Tallahassee. This past Sunday, they found a way to get back on track.
On Sunday, February 6, the Illini women defeated the Illinois State Redbirds in a 7-0 sweep at Atkins Tennis Center.
Starting off with a split of the first two doubles matches, freshman Megan Heuser (ILL) and sophomore Kate Duong (ILL) were faced with a 3 games to 5 deficit in the final doubles match. Using their grit and determination, they won 4 straight games to take the set 7-5, giving the Illini the overall doubles victory and the first point of the day.
Following the doubles victory, the Illini started their singles matches, dominating each opponent they faced.
Junior Josie Frazier (ILL) started the singles off strong with a win in straight sets on court three, 6-2, 6-0 versus Maria Potsi (ISU). The dominant performances continued with freshman Kida Ferrari (ILL) winning in straight sets 6-4, 6-0 against Elena Jankulovska (ISU), and Duong sealing the win for the Illini with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Tijana Zlatanovic (ISU).
The taste of victory did not stop the Illini, as they continued their dominance throughout the remainder of the 3 matches. They rounded out the 7-0 sweep with wins in straight sets by senior Shivani Ingle (6-3, 6-2), Megan Heuser (6-3, 6-4), and junior Ashley Yeah (6-4, 7-5).
As was clear from nearly the beginning, this series of matches was going to be one sided. In the singles portion of the day, Illinois State did not win a single set.
The most impressive part of this year for the Illini so far has been the continued trend of success for all three freshmen – Kida Ferrari, Megan Heuser, and Kaisa Treiber – as both Ferrari and Heuser picked up their 5th and 4th singles wins of the year (respectively) on Sunday.
The Illini are now 4-0 at Atkins Tennis Center in 2022, and they’re 5-3 overall. They look to continue this success at home where they host arch-rival Missouri (2-2) in the Braggin’ Rights match on Sunday, February 13 at 12 pm CT. The last time both teams met was in the 1981-82 season, where the Illini cruised to a 7-2 win over the Tigers.
After Sunday, the Illini take a two week break before finishing their three-match home stand with a battle against Cornell at 12 pm CT on Sunday, February 27.
Cover photo courtesy of Fighting Illini Athletics.