|Redbird women’s tennis gets served by Illinois|
|Written by Kevin Powell, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Monday, 23 January 2012 13:46|
Heading into this past Saturday’s dual meet against Illinois, ISU women’s tennis head coach Chris Hoover knew they were facing a quality team.
“They’re a tough team. It’s a tough way for us to start the schedule,” Hoover said. “I have a lot of respect for Illinois.”
The Redbirds fell to the Fighting Illini, 7-0, in Champaign on Saturday, Jan. 21.
Senior Redbird Aniko Kiss got dropped by Allison Falkin, 6-0, 6-0, and Melissa Kopinski defeated Phyllis Tigges, 6-1, 6-3.
ISU saw the return of junior Ariane Maack to its lineup as she returned from a shoulder injury that kept her out of competition for the entire 2011 season.
“We’re all really thrilled she will be back,” Hoover said before the meet. “We know it will be a rough first match for her, but she wants to go all out and play again, so I’m excited she’ll get her wish.”
In Maack’s sophomore season, she sported a singles record of 14-11 and a doubles record of 15-17.
The first match back for Maack was a tough one as she lost her singles match, 6-0, 6-1, against Amy Allin.
“Ariane did okay considering it was her first match back,” Hoover said. “It wasn’t great, but I know she’ll be back competing at a high level soon.”
Maack teamed with Hannah Esker in doubles in the No. 2 position and lost to Breanne Smutko and Chelcie Abajian, 8-1.
Esker competed in the No. 6 position for singles and was defeated by Julia Jamieson, 6-0, 6-0.
Gabriella Phillips lost to Misia Kedzierski, 6-0, 6-0, in the No. 5 position. Playing in the No. 4 position, Stefanie Youngberg lost to Rachael White, 6-2, 6-1.
Kiss and Tigges paired in doubles in the No. 1 position and fell, 8-3, to Falkin and White.
In the No. 3 position, Allin and Jamieson defeated Heather Nisbet and Youngberg.
“It was a tough match. It was definitely a rough start, but Phyllis and Stefanie both played pretty well,” Hoover added. “We still have a long way to go, but at least now we know where we stand.”
The loss leaves ISU at 0-1 in the young spring season, and moved Illinois to 3-0 overall.
The difficult match was the first of many scheduled on ISU’s busy spring schedule.
ISU will be on the road for the next seven matches as they travel to IUPUI in Indianapolis this Saturday, Jan. 29.
Also on the schedule are Iowa, UTEP, Kansas, Missouri and then a rematch against Illinois.
The ’Birds’ first home match of the spring season is against Eastern Illinois on March 2.
“We’re going to be focusing on one thing this semester: compete harder,” Hoover said. “We have a lot of work to do.”
The Redbirds match against IUPUI begins at 4 p.m.