CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Next up, Illinois heads to Norman, Oklahoma, for ITA Kickoff Weekend. Illinois will take on No. 19 California at 2 p.m. CT, on Saturday, Jan. 27. On Sunday, the Illini will face either No. 16 Oklahoma or No. 23 UCF at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m., based on result.
Last Time Out
Through two weeks of the dual season, Illinois is out to a 3-1 record. After a 2-0 opening weekend at home, the Orange and Blue headed east to face Charlotte and No. 15 Duke from Durham, N.C. After earning a 4-1 neutral-site win over Charlotte, the Illini suffered a 4-2 setback to the host Blue Devils.
Illinois split the doubles point over the weekend, dropping the opening point to the 49ers before winning doubles over Duke the following day. Against Charlotte, Megan Heuser, Violeta Martinez, Josie Frazier, and McKenna Schaefbauer each picked up a singles win while the other two matches went unfinished. On the singles courts against Duke, Kida Ferrari earned a straight-set upset over No. 78 Brianna Shvets.
Illini vs. the Field
Saturday’s tilt against Cal will be the first between the teams in program history.
The Illini trail the all-time series against Oklahoma, 1-8.
Illinois is 0-1 all-time against UCF.
Head coach Evan Clark is in his ninth year as the head coach of Illinois women’s tennis and holds an overall dual record of 118-78 (.602) and is 58-28 (.674) in Big Ten play during his time as an Illini. Including his time as the head coach at UNC-Wilmington, Clark owns a 149-89 record overall.
The Illini are coming off an 18-10 season with an 8-3 Big Ten record in 2022-23. The Illini’s 18 wins tied the sixth-most in a single season in program history. UI earned the 14th appearance to the NCAA Team Tournament in program history. The last time Illinois made the NCAA Tournament as a team was the 2019 campaign. The 2023 appearance marked the third with Clark at the helm.
Illinois returns six of its eight players from last season, including fifth-year senior Josie Frazier and senior Kate Duong. Additionally, Megan Heuser, Kasia Treiber, and Kida Ferrari return for their junior campaigns and Violeta Martinez begins her sophomore dual season. The Illini welcomed South Carolina-transfer, but Illinois native, McKenna Schaefbauer along with freshmen Rosie Seccia and Alice Xu.