Illinois women’s tennis finishes weekend with 5-2 win over Illinois State


Sidney Malone

Sophomores Kida Ferrari and Kasia Treiber prepare for a serve during a doubles match against Illinois State on Sunday. The duo won their match, despite falling behind early on.

By Conor Blount, Assistant Sports Editor

Following Friday’s 4-0 victory over Missouri, Illinois women’s tennis returned home for a Sunday afternoon matchup against Illinois State. This match marked the 40th time Illinois and Illinois State had played against one another, with Illinois owning a 31-8 series record going into the day. A doubles point and four singles matches later, Illinois had claimed a 4-1 win, but the remaining singles matches were played out for a final score of 5-2.

Suffering from the immense success they achieved in the fall season, junior Kate Duong and sophomore Megan Heuser had to sit out this match due to NCAA regulations regarding total matches played in a season. Duong and Heuser are currently the 24th-best duo in the nation and are also two of Illinois’ top four singles performers. 

In the absence of their best duo, doubles play started off a bit shaky for the Illini, who lost the first game on all three courts. However, it was relatively smooth sailing from there, as senior Ashley Yeah and freshman Violeta Martinez won six of their next seven games on court two to get Illinois halfway to the doubles point. By the time Yeah and Martinez wrapped up, Illinois was locked at 4-4 in both of its other doubles matches. 

Illinois won the next game on both courts and it was ultimately sophomores Kida Ferrari and Kasia Treiber who won the doubles point for the Illini after trailing 3-1 early.  

Moving onto singles, the same six Illini who participated in doubles had to play again due to Duong and Heuser’s absence. The order head coach Evan Clark rolled out was Yeah on court one followed by senior Josie Frazier, Treiber, Martinez, Ferrari and senior Emily Casati. 

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

This match marked Ferrari’s first in some time, but there were no signs of rust on court five. Ferrari swept the first set (6-0) and was up 3-0 in the second set before she lost a single game. After her Illinois State counterpart battled back for two games in a row, Ferrari settled back in and was the first Illini to finish (6-0, 6-2).

Shifting to the top court, No. 72 Yeah won her first set with a deceptively dominant score of 6-2. Each game was a battle in the first set, but it was ultimately Yeah who ended up on top six times. Her second set, however, was as dominant as the box score would suggest, as Yeah won the first four games en route to Illinois’ third point of the day (6-2, 6-1).

Martinez was the next to finish but was unfortunately on the opposite side of the outcome. Playing on the highest court of her young collegiate career (4), Martinez was bested 6-2 in each set, marking Illinois State’s first point of the match. 

Also tasked with a higher court than normal was Frazier (2), who was able to pull out a first-set victory after winning two consecutive games with the score knotted at 5-5. Much like Yeah, the second set was significantly less trouble for Frazier as it only took seven games for her to deliver the finishing blow to Illinois State (7-5, 6-1).

From there, it was decided that the rest of the matches would be played out which benefited Casati, who was just a couple of games away from victory after pulling out a 6-4 first-set victory. An epitome of consistency, Casati once again earned a score of 6-4 in the second set, marking Illinois’ fifth point of the day.

The last match to finish was on court three, where Treiber was locked into the most competitive match of the day. Battling from behind for most of the first set, Treiber managed to win a game down 6-5 to force a tiebreaker game, which she also won 7-4. The second set was not as fortunate for Treiber, as her opponent claimed a 6-3 victory. 

Even in the third set, it looked bleak as Illinois State had a 4-1 lead and Illinois had already won the match as a whole. Treiber, technically, had nothing left to play for. However, Treiber battled back and won four games in a row, needing just one more to win the set and consequently the match. But unfortunately, Treiber seemed to run out of steam and ultimately lost the set 7-5. 

Despite losing the match in the end, Clark commended Treiber’s drive to keep fighting, noting that she did the best with what she could. 

“It’s a tough situation to be in,” said Clark “I hate it for her because she probably shouldn’t be in that situation but we were playing the match out. Not a great situation to be in but to her credit, she found a way to keep it close and fight back. She was playing free because she already knows the match has been decided.”

Another welcome development was Ferrari’s dominance of court five, which was made even more impressive by it being her first time back since January.

“That was great,” said Clark. “She hadn’t been here for a couple weeks and I thought it was important to get her back in today. For her to be the first one off, I think, says a lot. She did great, we know what she’s capable of so hopefully her confidence is back.”

Now sitting at 4-3 on the season, Illinois women’s tennis will be looking to claim its fifth win of the season when hosting Xavier this Friday at 5 p.m.



[email protected]