Illinois women’s tennis aims to extend home winning streak to six against Cornell

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Sidney Malone

Junior Ashley Yeah has her eyes on the ball during her singles match against Mizzou on Feb. 13. The Illini will be home at Atkins Tennis Center against Cornell on Sunday.

By James Kim, Staff Writer

After a week of rest, Illinois women’s tennis will be returning to Atkins Tennis Center to take on Cornell on Sunday.

The Illini had yet another successful outing two weeks ago, as they defeated the Missouri Tigers in Braggin’ Rights by a 4-0 score. Sunday will see the Illini play their final home match before they begin a stretch of matches on the road.

Illinois will be taking on a struggling Cornell side that has yet to register a win this season. The 0-6 Big Red will have a tall task trying to get their first win against the 6-3 Illini, who are at their best when playing on home soil. Illinois also has outscored opponents, 29-0, at Atkins and will be well rested after having no matches last week.

“It’s been nine matches (straight) since mid-January,” said head coach Evan Clark following the victory over Missouri. “It’s kind of been go, go, go, and they deserve a nice breather this weekend. We’ll get refreshed.”

Illinois has seen things go well in many areas so far this season. The court one doubles team up of sophomore Kate Duong and freshman Megan Heuser has been one of the highlights, as the two have found immense team chemistry between them. Even against the best duos from other schools, Duong and Heuser can be counted on to get the victory.

The future of the women’s tennis program is in good hands. This Illini squad has witnessed the rise of underclassmen, all of whom have proved they are starter-worthy. With Duong already leading the team from the top courts as just a sophomore, the additions of freshmen Heuser, Kida Ferrari and Kasia Treiber have all only added to the depth of the roster.  

The veterans of the team in juniors Josie Frazier, Ashley Yeah and Emily Casati and senior Shivani Ingle have rounded out what is a balanced lineup for Illinois. With Big Ten play on the horizon, adding another victory to the home win column is exactly what the team will be looking for.

However, at this level no team can be written off, and Illinois will need to bring the heat against Cornell on Sunday.

“Cornell’s another good team,” Clark said. “Ivy is a strong league in women’s tennis, and so we’ll need to be ready to go. We’re looking forward to hosting them.”

 

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