Women’s tennis falls to Florida State

The No. 32 Illinois women’s tennis team dropped its third 4-3 match to a higher-ranked team when it lost to No. 21 Florida State in Friday’s home opener.

After dropping a the doubles point, senior Megan Fudge and junior Marisa Lambropoulos got the Illini on board with straight-set wins on the Nos. 2 and 4 singles courts.

But the Seminoles followed also with straight-set wins at the Nos. 3 and 6 singles spots, which put the spotlight on the Illini’s freshmen Rachael White and Breanne Smutko.

Smutko responded with a win over Florida State’s Frederica Suess, 7-6 (5), 6-0, and this set up the showdown between No. 33 White and No. 23 Lauren McCreless on court one.

Already in her third set down 5-3, White couldn’t come back, as McCreless sealed the win for the Seminoles with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory.

“Obviously it’s a little disappointing, but I think I probably fought my hardest,” White said. “It’s a little heartbreaking that it’s the deciding match, but I’ll just move on. There’s always a next one.”

Illinois will return to the Atkins Tennis Center for a doubleheader against Marquette and Western Illinois on Sunday.