Illinois to finish off regular season against Northwestern


Angel Saldivar

Freshman Kate Duong hits a ball during a match against Michigan State on April 9. The Illinois women’s tennis team will play their final match of the regular season on Sunday against Northwestern at Atkins Tennis Center.

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor

The Illinois’ women’s tennis team will play its final match of the regular season this Sunday against the No. 7 Northwestern Wildcats at Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana.

This match will cap off the Illini’s regular season, in which they only played against Big Ten opponents due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Illinois (7-8) will look to finish strong against one of the best opponents the Big Ten has to offer in the Northwestern Wildcats, as they come into the matches sitting at a stellar 17-3 record. Though Northwestern lost last week to No. 20 Michigan, it will be a great challenge for Illinois.

The last time these two teams met was in Evanston, as the Wildcats took the win over the Illini 6-1. The point for the Illini came from doubles play, where Josie Frazier and Asuka Kawai, along with Kate Duong and Ashley Yeah, won their matches.

Northwestern has won 20 matches in a row against Illinois, and it leads the overall series, 26-2

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    Though the future may look grim for the Illini on Sunday, Duong is optimistic about the matches and hopes to pull off an upset against the Wildcats. 

    “Last time we lost 6-1, but if you just look at the box score, it looks like we didn’t do as well,” Duong said. “But if you actually look at each match, we were right there with them. We were just inches away from winning some of those matches.”

    Along with capping off the regular season before the Big Ten Tournament, Illinois will be celebrating four different seniors after the matches: Mia Rabinowitz, Sasha Belaya, Emilee Duong and Kawai.

    The matches against Northwestern will start at noon central time Sunday.



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