March 29, 2013
MADISON, Wis. – Despite a hard-earned doubles point and Anastasia Tripolskaya’s all-around performance, the Wisconsin women’s tennis team (3-12, 1-3 B1G) came up short in Champaign, dropping its match to No. 52 Illinois (7-8, 1-3 B1G) by a 5-2 margin.
Wisconsin opened the match by snagging the doubles point with a gritty comeback performance. Although the Illini’s No. 3 pairing of Allison Falkin and Misia Kedzierski toppled UW’s duo of Lauren Burich and Pernilla Wohlstrom, 8-6, to get the day underway, Wisconsin’s No. 1 and 2 doubles teams were there to pick up their teammates.
“The top two doubles teams did a great job today at closing out their matches,” said head coach Brian Fleishman. “They did a great job of competing and finishing points.”
Hannah Berner and Lauren Chypyha evened the score at 1-1 with a shocking victory in the No. 1 match, taking down No. 21 Rachael White and Melissa Kopinski, 8-6. The Illinois duo had only lost one doubles match since Jan. 28.
Katie Hoch and Tripolskaya capitalized on the momentum from the big upset at No. 1, as they bested Breanne Smutko and Audrey O’Connor in the No. 2 match, 8-4, to claim the doubles point for the Badgers.
But UW couldn’t hold the 1-0 match lead, as Illinois took charge in the singles matches earn the victory.
Singles competition opened on the wrong foot for UW, as Helen Rabot was forced to withdraw in the No. 6 match due to injury, evening the score at 1-1.
Wisconsin couldn’t right the ship in the No. 1 match, as Kopinski exacted revenge for the doubles upset with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Berner to stake the Illini to a 2-1 lead. Illinois made it three-in-a-row when Kedzierski took down Hoch at No. 5, 6-4, 6-1.
Falkin clinched the match for Illinois when she beat Chypyha in the No. 2 match, 7-5, 6-2. The Badgers’ deficit grew to 5-1 after the No. 3 match, where Smutko beat Burich, 7-6(3), 6-3.
UW closed the day on a high note, as Tripolskaya continued her strong recent play with a come-from-behind 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 win over White at No. 4. The Moscow native improved to 2-0 at No. 4 singles with the win, and has won five-straight singles matches overall.
“Tripolskaya was very determined to keep her win streak alive,” Fleishman said. “She is playing consistent tennis, and really doing a great job with error management.”
Wisconsin continues action on the road, as it looks for its elusive first road win when it takes on No. 11 Northwestern at 11 a.m. on Sunday in Chicago.
No. 52 Illinois 5, Wisconsin 2
1. Melissa Kopinski (ILL) def. Hannah Berner (WIS) 6-3, 6-3
2. Allison Falkin (ILL) def. Lauren Chypyha (WIS) 7-5, 6-2
3. Breanne Smutko (ILL) def. Lauren Burich (WIS) 7-6(3), 6-3
4. A. Tripolskaya (WIS) def. Rachael White (ILL) 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
5. Misia Kedzierski (ILL) def. Katie Hoch (WIS) 6-4, 6-1
6. Audrey O'Connor (ILL) def. Helen Rabot (WIS), by default
1. Hannah Berner/Lauren Chypyha (WIS) def. No. 21 Rachael White/Melissa Kopinski (ILL) 8-6
2. Katie Hoch/A. Tripolskaya (WIS) def. Breanne Smutko/Audrey O'Connor (ILL) 8-4
3. Allison Falkin/Misia Kedzierski (ILL) def. Lauren Burich/Pernilla Wohlstrom (WIS) 8-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (6,1,5,2,3,4)