Illinois women’s tennis begins fall season with Wahoowa Invite

The+Illinois+womens+tennis+team+huddle+on+the+court+as+they+watch+their+intro+video+before+their+matches+against+Rutgers+on+March+27.+The+Illini+will+begin+their+season+this+weekend+for+the+Wahoowa+Invite+in+Virginia.+

Sidney Malone

The Illinois women’s tennis team huddle on the court as they watch their intro video before their matches against Rutgers on March 27. The Illini will begin their season this weekend for the Wahoowa Invite in Virginia.

By Conor Blount, Staff Writer

After finishing the 2021–2022 season with a vastly improved record from years prior, Illinois women’s tennis looks to open up its fall season at the Wahoowa Invite in Charlottesville. The competition will be hosted by Virginia.

The last time the Illini competed in the Wahoowa Invite was in September 2019, where they won 13 of the 29 singles matches and two of the 12 doubles matches they competed in.

This competition will see sophomore Megan Heuser, junior Kate Duong and seniors Josie Frazier and Ashley Yeah make the trip out East, bringing back the majority of the team’s starting six from last year.

A big advantage Illinois has coming into this season is that seven of its eight roster spots are returning athletes, with the one new face being freshman Violeta Martinez. The Illini already had an impressive record last year. An additional year of growth by the team, both individually and as a unit, will work in the players’ favor come the spring season. 

The Wahoowa Invite, along with much of the fall season, will serve as good preparation for the official season in the spring — where the important matches against individual programs begin. The fall season is also great in getting all of the returning athletes back into the swing of things, with NCAA tournament hopes high this season.

“We knew we could (make the tournament), so it’s frustrating for us,” head coach Evan Clark said. “I think it’ll make us hungrier.”

Illinois will get its first chance to display its hunger this weekend at the Wahoowa Invite in Charlottesville, Va., starting with matches on Friday and Saturday for each player.

 

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