Minnesota Drops 6-1 Decision to Illinois

Go Gophers! Julia Courter won her third match in a row against Breanne Smutko at No. 6.
Go Gophers!
Julia Courter won her third match in a row against Breanne Smutko at No. 6.
Go Gophers!

April 1, 2012

The No. 32 Minnesota women's tennis team dropped its third consecutive match on Sunday afternoon, falling 6-1 to 21st-ranked Illinois at the Baseline Tennis Center. The match was the Gophers' first outdoor home match of the year and was the team's third straight match against a top-25 opponent.

The match began with Illinois sweeping the doubles competition. Melissa Kopinski and Marisa Lambropoulos beat Minnesota's No. 39-ranked combination of Natallia Pintusava and Magdalena Wiecha and Amy Allin and Rachael White upended Alexa Palen and Doron Muravnik at the top two positions, respectively.

The Fighting Illini capped the sweep when Allison Falkin and Chelcie Abajian won 8-4 at the No. 3 spot. It was the second time all season the Gophers were swept in doubles. The last time it happened was on Feb. 5 against then-No. 28 Washington in the team's first loss.

In singles play, Illinois jumped out to a 3-0 lead when No. 124 Kopinski defeated Pintusava in straight sets at No. 2 and Allin did the same at the fourth position against Yuliana Umanets. The Illini clinched the win when White rallied after falling behind in the first set to top Tereza Brichacova.

Gopher freshman Julia Courter of Lawrenceville, Ga. ended the opponent's bid at an overall sweep by taking down fellow Georgia-native Breanne Smutko 7-5, 6-2 at No. 6. Courter is 3-0 in singles play during Minnesota's current three-match losing skid.

Another player from Georgia, Allison Falkin of Illinois, closed out the match for a 6-1 final when she beat Palen in a match tiebreaker. Palen rallied to force a third after a 6-4 first-set loss, but fell 10-6 in the super tiebreaker.

Minnesota is now 12-4 overall on the  year and is 2-3 in Big Ten play.

The Gophers heading back on the road for matches against No. 46 Penn State and Ohio State. Minnesota will then return home to play 41st-ranked Indiana and No. 33 Purdue. Minnesota will then finish out the regular season with a road match at No.18 Nebraska and a home match against Iowa.

Apr. 1, 2012
Baseline Tennis Center • Minneapolis, Minn.
No. 21 Illinois 6, No. 32 Minnesota 1

Singles Competition:
1. Allison Falkin (ILL) def. Alexa Palen (MINN) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (6)
2. No. 124 Melissa Kopinski (ILL) def. Natallia Pintusava (MINN) 7-5, 6-2
3. Marisa Lambropoulos (ILL) def. Doron Muravnik (MINN) 6-4, 6-1
4. Amy Allin (ILL) def. Yuliana Umanets (MINN) 6-2, 6-3
5. Rachael White (ILL) def. Tereza Brichacova (MINN) 6-4, 6-1
6. Julia Courter (MINN) def. Breanne Smutko (ILL) 7-5, 6-2

Doubles Competition:
1. Melissa Kopinski/Marisa Lambropoulos (ILL) def. No. 39 Natallia Pintusava/Magdalena Wiecha (MINN) 8-1
2. Amy Allin/Rachael White (ILL) def. Alexa Palen/Doron Muravnik (MINN) 8-1
3. Allison Falkin/Chelcie Abajian (ILL) def. Yuliana Umanets/Tereza Brichacova (MINN) 8-4

Match Notes:
No. 32 Minnesota 12-4 (2-3 Big Ten)
No. 21 Illinois 12-5 (4-1 Big Ten)
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (2,4,5,3,6,1)