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University of Illinois Women Team News
Illini to Battle Georgia State, Furman this Weekend
Thursday, 01/31/2013

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Fighting Illini women's tennis team (2-4) will travel south for two matches this weekend, taking on Georgia State (2-1) on Saturday at 10 a.m. CT in Atlanta and Furman (0-0) on Sunday at 9 a.m. in Greenville, S.C.

The Illini have faced Georgia State only once in program history, taking down the Panthers in an 8-1 victory on March 21, 1990. Sunday's match will mark the first meeting between Illinois and Furman.

Georgia State is 2-1 with wins over No. 42 Oklahoma State and Syracuse. The Panthers are coming off a 7-0 loss to No. 6 Georgia last Monday in ITA Kick-Off action. The squad checks in at No. 62 in the nation and boasts a ranked singles player, No. 29 Abigail Tere-Apisah, who is also ranked No. 19 in doubles alongside partner Masa Grgan.

Furman will kick off its dual season this Thursday with a home match with Coastal Caroline. The Paladins were 14-10 last year. Their 2013 roster features one nationally ranked singles player, No. 68 Lauren Kline.

The Illini slipped four spots to No. 31 in the national team rankings after losses to then-No. 19 Ole Miss and No. 25 Vanderbilt. Senior Rachael White and sophomore Melissa Kopinski are ranked 11th in doubles, while junior Allison Falkin is ranked 59th and Kopinski 106th in singles.

The Illini fell to then-No. 25 Vanderbilt, 4-1, in opening-round action of ITA Kick-Off Weekend last Sunday in Oxford, Miss. The following day, Illinois squared off with host and then- No. 19 Ole Miss in consolation play. The Orange and Blue suffered a 4-0 shutout to end the weekend.

Seventeen of Illinois' 22 regular season opponents were nationally ranked to start the season, and six were in the top 25. Nine other Big Ten teams cracked the initial rankings, including No. 13 Northwestern, No. 16 Michigan, No. 17 Nebraska, No. 27 Purdue, No. 41 Minnesota, No. 49 Indiana, No. 50 Penn State, No. 57 Ohio State and No. 75 Wisconsin. Illinois' four losses have come to teams in the top 25.

The Illini will be back in action in three weeks, when they host Syracuse on Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. and Oklahoma on Feb. 24 at Noon. Both matches will be held at the Atkins Tennis Center.