Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Texas Squeezes by Illini Women on Busy Big Ten Weekend

It was a tough loss for the Illinois women as they came very close to moving up in the rankings with a win over No. 24 Texas. 

The doubles point was hard fought despite the sweep by the Longhorns.  They continued to take control with a straight set win at No. 5, but Illini Allison Falkin put her team on the board with a 6-4,6-4 victory over Caroline Larson.  With the score was  2-1 Texas and it was going to stay that way for awhile as all the other courts began to split sets.

Chelcie Abajian struggled in the final two sets and Amanda Craddock brought her team to 3-1 just a short while before Amy Allin answered back at No. 2, coming back from a set down to beat Krista Damico.  It was down to courts one and three and a tight 4-6,6-3,6-4 win at No. 1 by Aeriel Ellis would seal it for Texas at 4-2.  Even though her team had lost the match, Breanne Smutko (right) held tough and won her match after the fact for a 4-3 final score.

While the Illinois women fell, the men managed to pull out a 4-3 victory over Big Ten rival Iowa.  In other league play this week, the unranked Wisconsin women took out #59 Minnesota, 6-1, and the Ohio State Men (ranked No. 3 in the country) shutout Penn State.

The Big Ten awarded Athlete of the Week honors to Johnny Hamui, who was 6-0 during the Illini’s three weekend matches, and Northwestern’s Maria Mosolova, whose dual-match singles record increased to 8-0 after she helped her team blank Texas.
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