Team anticipates first home match after month-long road trip

Illinois+Jaclyn+Switkes+gets+ready+to+return+the+ball+during+the+match+against+Notre+Dame+at+Atkins+Tennis+Center+on+Feb.+8%2C+2019.+The+Illini+won+4-3.

Austin Yattoni

Illinois’ Jaclyn Switkes gets ready to return the ball during the match against Notre Dame at Atkins Tennis Center on Feb. 8, 2019. The Illini won 4-3.

By Gabby Vazquez, Staff writer

The team will compete Friday against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The team will also be competing on Sunday against the Maryland Terrapins. This will be the Illini’s first home match after being on a month-long road trip.

After a 1-4 loss to No. 18 University of Texas on March 19 and another 1-4 loss to the University of Central Florida this past weekend, Illinois remains hopeful for its upcoming matches.

The match took place at the UCF Collegiate Tennis Center. UCF doubles pair Valeriya Zeleva and Svetlana Kuznetsova is ranked No. 31 and prevailed over Illinois doubles pair made of seniors Jaclyn Switkes and sophomore Sasha Belaya on court one, 6-1. Not long after that, UCF doubles pair Marie Mattel and Rebeka Stolmar defeated the Illinois doubles pair made up of sophomores Asuka Kawai and Mia Rabinowitz, 6-3.

Fortunately, No. 54-ranked Kawai put the Illini on the board during her singles match with scores of 6-1 and 6-3 over Zeleva, ranked No. 41 for the Knight’s.

Sophomore Emilee Duong said head coach Evan Clark talked to the Illini during practice on Wednesday and told the women their match on Friday is a “take-care-of-business match.” Duong also gave credit to UCF and the University of Texas for being such competitive teams.

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“They were both really good teams, so it gave us a chance to play against some great tennis,” Duong said. “This match on Friday is a Big Ten match, so it’s like routine for us. We’re ready to get back into our groove.”

The Illini have a current record of 6-9 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten.

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