Illini closes the regular season at No. 23 Michigan, Michigan State
CHAMPAGNE, Ill. – The Illinois women’s tennis team will conclude its 2022 regular season schedule this weekend with a road trip to Michigan State as the Illini take on No. 23 Michigan at 3:00 p.m. CT on Friday, April 22 in Ann Arbor, before the regular season. finale at Michigan State in East Lansing on Sunday, April 24 at 10 a.m. CT.
Heading into the weekend, the Illini are tied for third in the conference standings with Northwestern, with Ohio State leading at 9-0 and Michigan in second at 8-1. Illinois could clinch a share of the 2022 Big Ten regular season championship by winning both games this weekend and having Ohio State lose both games. OSU takes on Maryland on Friday and Rutgers on Sunday.
For the second straight season, Illinois earned an upset win over Northwestern on Senior Day as the Illini celebrated senior Shivani Ingle in style with a 4-3 victory over the Wildcats on Sunday afternoon April 17 at the Atkins Tennis Center.
It was an epic doubles battle as the Wildcats won on the first court, while the No. 3 junior doubles team Emily Casati and freshman Kasia Treiber came back from a 5-0 deficit to level the score at 5-5, before eventually falling 7-5 to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage. The junior duo of Ashley Yeah and Josie Frazier were leading 6-5 when the point was won.
Northwestern went 2-0 after a win on court six, before Illini tied it with back-to-back wins at No. 1 and 2 singles as a sophomore Kate Duong defeated No. 110 Clarissa Hand, 6-2, 7-5, and Yeah picked up a 6-4, 7-5 win over Maria Shusharina.
After another UI setback on court three, Treiber and Megan Heuser came in the clutch as Treiber tied the game at 3-3 with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 win over Christina Hand. All eyes turned to court four as Heuser beat Ema Lazic, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to send the Illini to a 4-3 victory.
Illini against the field
The Illini trails the all-time streak with the Wolverines, 11-39, with Michigan having won 21 straight games, including winning both games a season ago with a score of 4-0.
The Illini lead the series with the Spartans, 36-13, and have won five of the last six games. The two teams split the 2021 season series, with the Illini winning at East Lansing, 4-2 on March 7, before MSU won 4-3 at Atkins on April 9.
- Illinois is 14-7 this season and 7-2 in the Big Ten.
- The Illini are tied for third in the conference standings with Northwestern heading into the final weekend, with Ohio State leading at 9-0 and Michigan in second at 8-1.
- Illinois could clinch a share of the 2022 Big Ten regular season championship by winning both games this weekend and having Ohio State lose both games. OSU takes on Maryland and Rutgers.
- Illinois finished its regular-season home slate with an impressive 11-1, with its 11 wins tied for the second-most wins on a home schedule in program history.
- Illinois holds an all-time record of 262-226 (.537) in the Big Ten Conference.
- Going into the weekend, Illinois is ranked No. 47 in the latest ITA Collegiate Tennis Division I women’s team rankings, with Wolverines at No. 23 in the standings.
- Second year Kate Duong was named the Big Ten Conference Female Tennis Athlete of the Week on Tuesday after helping Illinois to a win from behind against Northwestern on Sunday. It was the first weekly honor for Duong, whose 6-2, 7-5 straight-sets win over No. 110 Clarissa Hand at No. 1 singles was the catalyst for Illini’s rally. It was also Duong’s first victory over a ranked opponent this season.
- Duong and freshman No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams Megan Heuser and juniors Ashley Yeah and Josie Frazierrespectively, lead the Illini with 11 wins each.
- Junior Emily Casati and freshman Kasia Treiber boasts a 5-6 record at No. 3 in doubles, with Casati also teaming with a freshman Kida Ferrari for a victory on court three.
- Individually, Yeah leads the way with a 14-5 record on court two, with Heuser (12-6) and Treiber (12-5) each holding 12 wins this season. Duong joins the double-digit trio with a No. 1 singles mark of 11-7.
- Treiber paces UI with eight league wins and boasts an 8-1 record, while Yeah and Heuser are right behind her with a 7-2 mark.
- All eight players have recorded at least one singles victory in 2022.
- Yeah earned Big Ten Female Tennis Athlete of the Week honors on March 22 after posting a 4-0 record in her matches, including two wins with her doubles partner and classmate Josie Frazier at No. 2 in doubles and a pair of singles wins on court two. It was Yeah’s first career Athlete of the Week and Illini’s first since Mia Rabinowitz won the honor on February 18, 2020.
- The head coach Evan Clark is in her sixth year at the helm of Illinois women’s tennis and holds an overall record of 95-65 (.594) and 49-24 (.671) in the Big Ten Conference.
- The Illini come out of a 9-9 Big Ten Conference-only season in 2021.
- Illini fire five players from last season, including senior Shivani Inglejuniors Casati, Frazier and Yeah and second Duong.
- Illinois welcomes three freshmen in 2022 with the addition of Heuser, Ferrari and Treiber.
With the regular season coming to an end, the Illini’s focus is on the 2022 Big Ten Women’s Tennis Championships, which will be held at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Center in Iowa City, Iowa, from April 27 through May 1.