Summer skills to help women’s tennis start strong

After its exit from the NCAA Championships in the first round, the women’s tennis team will look to continue the success from last season despite the disappointing finish. After a 15-10 record and only two loses in the Big Ten — from teams ranked Nos. 2 and 4 — and reaching the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament, Illinois hopes to carry the momentum with the experienced team it has, with only two incoming freshmen. The Illini will also use the skills they developed over the summer, where they competed in several collegiate tournaments.

Marisa Lambropoulos won the doubles title with University of Georgia’s Lilly Kimbell, at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in mid-July, beating Illini teammates Amy Allin and Breanne Smutko in the second round of doubles.

Smutko also paired up with fellow Illini Chelcie Abajian at the ITA/USTA National Summer Championships. The duo came up short in the final match, finishing in second place. Both players advanced to the third round in singles play.

Rachael White and Misia Kedzierski also competed in the tournament. The Illini will again be look to advance to their 11th NCAA Championships having never won it.