The Daily Illini

Tennis requires change to return after spring season cancellation

The Illinois Women's Tennis team huddles before the match against Eastern Michigan on Jan. 26.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

July 7, 2020

At the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, the college tennis season halted almost instantly. Returning to play, however, is going to require a slow, methodical approach that may result in the sport looking different than it ever has before.  Fortunately, the NCAA has a blueprint to look off of in the fo...

Illini women’s tennis reflects on refreshing trips

Junior Jaclyn Switkes serves the ball during the match against Furman on Feb. 10, 2018.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

June 19, 2020

As the 2017-2018 Illinois women’s tennis team approached an all-time high for the program, the players grew weary. By mid-March, Illinois had soared out to a 12-2 start, but it came at a cost due to their grueling schedule that included five top-25 teams, along with various tournaments, w...

Kawai, Rabinowitz named to Big Ten All-Conference team

Illinois' Asuka Kawai returns the ball during the match against Notre Dame at Atkins Tennis Center on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. The Illini won 4-3.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

June 2, 2020

Juniors Asuka Kawai and Mia Rabinowitz were named to the Big Ten women’s tennis All-Conference team on May 20. For both, the honor came as a surprise but for very different reasons.  Heading into the season, Kawai was far and away the most talented player on the Illinois women's tennis roster. She ...

Team of the century: 2017-2018 women’s tennis team leverage young talent to all-time high

Junior Jaclyn Switkes serves the ball during the match against Furman on Feb. 10, 2018.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

May 14, 2020

During the near half-century since the inception of the Illinois women’s tennis program, the team regularly achieved good but not great results, mostly turning in seasons of slightly over .500 play. However, during the 2017-2018 season, the team showed they could be something more. They caught light...

Gandawidjaja finds role with Illini tennis as walk on

Senior Madeleine Gandawidjaja returns the ball during a match.

By Danielle Rhody, Staff Writer

April 26, 2020

Senior Madeleine Gandawidjaja’s time on the tennis team has been cut short. However, her story on joining the team is still worth telling. She was not recruited onto the team, instead, she walked on during her junior year. Gandawidjaja played with her family for fun but started learning how to pl...

Clark uses fitness challenge to raise money for community

Illinois head coach Evan Clark talks to his team during the match against Rutgers at Atkins Tennis Center on Friday, March 29, 2019. The Illini won 6-1.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

April 24, 2020

As the world closed its doors, Illini women’s tennis head coach Evan Clark found an open one. Clark has used his newfound free time from the shortened tennis season to positively impact the community by promoting a fitness-based challenge to raise money for those in need.  Clark has taken up what he...

Illinois find success at Atkins Tennis Center

The Fighting Illini Women's Tennis Team smiles for a photo at the Atkins Tennis Center.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

April 16, 2020

Atkins Tennis Center is a 29-year-old tennis facility that houses the Illinois men’s and women’s tennis teams. While it doesn’t show on the outside, playing at Atkins has become one of the largest home advantages in college women’s tennis over the past few seasons. Through the past three seasons, the I...

Illini of the season: Top players lead through up and down tennis season

Freshman Josie Frazier stands and laughs after a team huddle during the meet against Eastern Michigan on Jan. 26.

By Wes Hollenberg and Danielle Rhody

March 30, 2020

Looking back at the short-lived Illinois women’s tennis season, the team struggled to string together collectively strong performances that could convert into wins. Fortunately, the team did have some bright individual performers who should help the team get back to winning during a full slate of g...

Illini’s tough season ended by cancelations

Freshman Josie Frazier prepares for a serve during the Illinois

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

March 19, 2020

The remainder of the Illinois women’s tennis season has been canceled due to concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19. There were 11 scheduled matches the Illini will not have a chance to compete in.  The Illini had a 5-9 record this season, struggling to compete against top tier teams. The team had...

Illini drops three losses at ITA National Indoor Championships

Illinois head coach Evan Clark talks to his team during the match against Rutgers at Atkins Tennis Center on Friday, March 29, 2019. The Illini won 6-1.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

February 12, 2020

The Illinois women’s tennis team competed in the 2020 ITA National Indoor Championships last weekend, losing to No. 4 UCLA (4-0), No. 7 Texas (4-1) and No. 10 Michigan (4-1). The team moved to 3-4 on the season. All four losses have been against top-10-ranked teams.  “We played against the best competition i...

Illinois split doubleheader with Duke, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville

Illinois' Emilee Duong celebrates during the match against Rutgers at Atkins Tennis Center on Friday, March 29. The Illini won 6-1.

By Danielle Rhody, Wes Hollenburg, Staff Writers

February 4, 2020

The Illinois women’s tennis team moved to a 3-1 record on the season, as the team defeated Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 4-0 before falling to No. 5-ranked Duke 4-2 in a doubleheader on Sunday at Atkins Tennis Center.  In the doubles matches against Duke, junior Emilee Duong and freshman Josie F...

Illini rack up two dual wins in spring season opener

Junior Asuka Kawai prepares for a serve at the Atkins Tennis Center against Eastern Michigan on Sunday.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

January 28, 2020

The Illinois women’s tennis team defeated Eastern Michigan (7-0) and Eastern Illinois (4-0) in a doubleheader Sunday at the Atkins Tennis Center. The matches marked the first of the Illini’s spring season.  In the singles matches against Eastern Michigan, junior Mia Rabinowitz won her sets, 6-1, 6-...

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