NORMAL, Ill. — For the second time in four matches, the Illinois State women’s tennis team will face a nationally-ranked opponent when it travels to Milwaukee, Wis., this weekend to take on Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Saturday at 6 p.m. and No. 73 Marquette Sunday at noon. Both matches will be played at Marquette’s Helfaer Tennis Stadium.
All three teams are coming into the weekend with losses in their last matchups.
The Redbirds are coming off a 7-0 loss to Illinois Feb. 8, making them 1-1 overall this season. UWM is 3-3 overall this season after falling to Northern Iowa, 6-1, and Marquette is 6-3 so far in the spring. Then-No. 61 Iowa defeated Marquette, 5-2, on Feb. 8. Since that match, Iowa has moved up to No. 58 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. Marquette will also host Toledo at home on Friday before meeting the Illinois State.
"We are just excited to get back on the court and play," said head coach Chris Hoover. "I thought there were some positive moments from last Sunday that we can build on this weekend. UWM head coach Matt McCaskill is someone that I have known for a long time, and it will be great to play against him and the Panthers. It will be a good match to get us ready to play Marquette.”
Since 1996, Illinois State leads the all-time series 3-0 over UWM. The last time the two teams met was March 25, 2007, when Illinois State snapped its four-match losing streak by besting Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 6-1, at Marquette’s Helfaer Tennis Stadium.
Since 1986, No. 73 Marquette leads the all-time series 9-2 over Illinois State. Illinois State fell to Marquette, 6-1, in the last meeting between the Redbirds and the Golden Eagles on March 24, 2007.
“It is wonderful to be able to play two top-75 teams in a week,” said Hoover. “I feel as though we could be knocking on the top-75 in the future. I just want us to have to solid performance against Marquette Sunday.”