Illinois women’s tennis heads to Ann Arbor for biggest competition of fall season

Sophomore+Kasia+Treiber+eyes+the+ball+during+her+singles+match+against+Rutgers+on+March+27.+

Sidney Malone

Sophomore Kasia Treiber eyes the ball during her singles match against Rutgers on March 27.

By Conor Blount, Staff Writer

Coming off of their lone bye week of the fall season, the rested Illini are headed to the Michigan-hosted ITA Midwest Regionals, with hopes of gaining entry to next week’s ITA National Championships.

Beginning with the qualifying singles draw this Thursday, the competition will last until Monday. With the Midwest Region encompassing much of Illinois’ Big Ten competition, this weekend may feature several matchups that will be seen again in the spring.

At the end of its last outing, Illinois was admittedly quite banged up. On top of sophomore Kasia Treiber and freshman Violeta Martinez’s injuries, Illinois had played five weekends of competitive matches in a row. Two weeks later, Treiber has recovered from her injury and although Martinez has not, head coach Evan Clark is grateful for Illinois’ time off to get healthy.

“They’ve practiced really well and haven’t really skipped a beat,” Clark said. “I think the couple of days off suited them — a few people were banged up and so that gave them some time to recover. We’re looking forward to having a good regional.”

Despite the natural desire to be coming off an encouraging weekend of play, Clark is still just as encouraged as ever about Illinois’ ability to show out at the ITA Regionals.

“It’s tough because you haven’t played for a weekend and sometimes you feel better coming off a competition weekend where you played matches,” Clark said. “We’ve talked a lot about our body of work over the fall, how good it’s been and about drawing from those experiences. I think we’re in a really good position still, which is a testament to us doing so good in the beginning.”

On the first day of competition, senior Emily Casati and sophomore Kida Ferrari will start things off for the Illini in the qualifying singles draw. If either are one of the 16 competitors left standing after two rounds, they will receive spots in the main singles draw.

The next day will kick off with the first and second round of the main doubles, with the day rounding out with the first round of the main singles draw. The duos for the Illini are seniors Ashley Yeah and Josie Frazier, senior Kate Duong and sophomore Megan Heuser and Casati/Ferrari.

With Martinez’s injury preventing her from participating this weekend, Illinois has an odd amount of competitors this weekend, with Treiber being the lone Illini with no doubles partner. Coming off of her concussion it makes sense to give her the break and the extra energy may come in handy during the singles draw.

The Saturday slate begins with the doubles round of 16 in the morning, followed by two rounds in the singles draw which will determine the final eight competitors.

The next day will be heavier on doubles, with back-to-back rounds that set up the finals matchup. The singles quarterfinals will close out the weekend from there.

The doubles final is scheduled for the following morning, with just the singles semifinals following it. After a day’s rest the singles final will be played, wrapping up the weekend and determining who gets a spot at the national championships next weekend.

Illinois women’s tennis will kick off competition at the Michigan-hosted ITA Midwest Regional this Thursday looking to make a statement in one of its final weekends of the fall season.

 

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