The Daily Illini

Illinois women’s tennis mounts upset over no. 11 Texas

Illinois%27+Emilee+Duong+celebrates+after+winning+her+singles+match+against+Texas+at+Atkins+Tennis+Center+on+Friday%2C+Feb.+2%2C+2018.+Duong+won+her+singles+match+6-3%2C+6-2%2C+and+the+Illini+won+4-2.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Illinois women’s tennis mounts upset over no. 11 Texas

Illinois' Emilee Duong celebrates after winning her singles match against Texas at Atkins Tennis Center on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. Duong won her singles match 6-3, 6-2, and the Illini won 4-2.

Illinois' Emilee Duong celebrates after winning her singles match against Texas at Atkins Tennis Center on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. Duong won her singles match 6-3, 6-2, and the Illini won 4-2.

Austin Yattoni

Illinois' Emilee Duong celebrates after winning her singles match against Texas at Atkins Tennis Center on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. Duong won her singles match 6-3, 6-2, and the Illini won 4-2.

Austin Yattoni

Austin Yattoni

Illinois' Emilee Duong celebrates after winning her singles match against Texas at Atkins Tennis Center on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. Duong won her singles match 6-3, 6-2, and the Illini won 4-2.


On Friday night, Illinois women’s tennis made a statement with its upset against NCAA No. 11 Texas. 

Illinois beat Florida State and Eastern Illinois back-to-back last weekend. It was evident that they had continued to build on those wins and had improved their doubles play after losing the doubles point against Eastern Illinois. 

Doubles partners Belaya and Pedraza-Novak and the No. 45 ranked Duong-Switkes duo picked up 6-2 wins in the first two doubles games to get the doubles point. But Texas showed they would not be bested so easily, and pulled back with two extremely quick singles points to take the lead 2-1.

Duong and Belaya continued their winning streaks from the doubles matches to win their singles games. Mia Rabinowitz shortened what could have been a very long game by winning her second-set tie-breaker to complete the 4-2 victory. 

“I think it’s huge (to defeat a nationally ranked team). I think we now know that we can play with anybody. This Texas team beat Cal last weekend and made National Indoors, so we know they can really play. It’s a huge confidence boost for our girls to know that they can play with anybody,” said head coach Evan Clark.

Clark also talked about past seasons’ performances, in particular referencing the resonating, extremely close loss against the Buckeyes this time last year.

“It was a great performance from our squad. Anyone who has followed the program knows that we’ve been really close in the last year and a half,” Clark said. “Last year, we lost a lot of matches when we were in that position and so to get over the hump, that’s kind of our first signature win, so I’m really happy for the girls. Two freshmen to be the last two points in big moments, I think that shows a lot.”

With three wins in the first three matches, the Illini are off to a perfect start. They will certainly be looking to continue on this great run of form that has carried over from last season.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Clark said, “and that’s the biggest thing.” We have to play a really tough schedule with a lot of ranked teams, but we certainly feel good about this one. We will use it as a confidence builder and keep moving forward.”

[email protected]

Leave a Comment
The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871