Illini women's tennis notes from weekend in Lubbock

By Tim Griffin

Over the weekend, doubles partners junior Louise Kwong and freshman Ines Vias, along with the rest of the Illini women’s tennis team, took on Virginia Tech and Texas Tech. The doubles pair didn’t finish their first match against Virginia Tech, but were leading 5-4 at the end of the match.

On Sunday, the pair found themselves in a little more difficult of a matchup.

Kwong and Ines were up against the No. 25 pairing of junior Lynn Kiro and freshman Alex Valenstein. The partnership of Kwong and Ines asserted their dominance, defeating the Red Raider duo 6-1.

“I mean it kind of just went by pretty fast for us too, everything just clicked that day,” Kwong said. “We worked really well together, Ines and I, we just played really well.”

The duo is undefeated on the year and head coach Evan Clark believes the Kwong-Vias team will make an appearance in the ITA rankings the next time they’re released.

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“She (Kwong) does her thing at the baseline, I do my thing at the net,” Vias said. “That day we were just like, ‘We really don’t have anything to lose.’”

The Illini have been strong as a team in doubles play, recording a 10-0 record.

Weather proves a factor in Lubbock

So far, play for Illinois’ spring season has been predominantly indoors, due to the unfavorable conditions of the midwest in January. But the Illini were given an opportunity to play outdoors when they headed down south to Lubbock, Texas, for the ITA Kickoff weekend tournament.

Unfortunately for the Illini, the conditions weren’t helpful, especially due to Lubbock’s high altitude.

“Conditions were really tough, I was really proud of the way the girls handled that,” head coach Evan Clark said. “It was very windy, and chilly, and (the altitude is high) in Lubbock so it’s a really tough place to go from being inside to outside like that, especially with those conditions.”

The Illini came away with a victory over No. 30 Virginia Tech on Saturday despite the conditions, but fell short against N0. 17 Texas Tech on Sunday.

“It was really good tennis overall. Against Texas Tech, I don’t think we adjusted as well as we did the day before to the tough conditions,” junior Alexis Casati said. “It was really windy and the altitude I think affected us. Also the second day we were playing at their home court so I think that (made a difference).”

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