Feb. 14, 2014
CHICAGO – The UIC women’s tennis team (1-5) will host Michigan State in its first home match of the season on Saturday at Match Point Tennis in Griffith, Ind., at 2 p.m. CT before heading to Kalamazoo, Mich., to take on Western Michigan at West Hills Athletic Club at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
The Flames are back on the courts after suffering a pair of losses to Toledo, 4-3, and Bowling Green, 5-2, on Feb. 8 and 9, respectively. Seniors Kathryn Sharples and Jana Knoppe and junior Keti Mebuke all picked up singles wins against the Rockets, with Knoppe also taking a win against the Falcons in addition to freshman Veronica Lacerda. Lacerda and Mebuke took the lone doubles win over the weekend with a 6-0 victory against Bowling Green.
Through its matches this season, UIC is led in singles by Knoppe, who holds a 5-1 dual record while competing at No. 4 and 5, followed by Mebuke with a 3-3 record at No. 5 and 6. In doubles, the duo of Knoppe and Sharples has come away with two wins, with Lacerda and Mebuke contributing to the team total as well.
Michigan State brings a 6-1 record into Saturday’s match against the Flames after winning its last four matches against Cleveland State, Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green and Oakland. The Spartans hold a 4-0 advantage in the all-time series, with their last meeting with the Flames coming in 2000, when MSU took a 4-3 win.
Western Michigan is 6-2 this season and brings in a nationally-ranked player in No. 117 Kathleen Hawkins to Sunday’s match. The Broncos have won their last three games against Oakland, Marquette and Davenport College while playing their last six matches at home. UIC is 2-11 in the all-time series against Western Michigan but picked up a 4-3 win over the Broncos last season.