April 17, 2014
CHICAGO – The UIC women’s tennis team (8-10, 5-1 HL) will close out its regular season this weekend when it hosts Cleveland State (9-11, 5-1 HL) at 2 p.m. CT on Friday at Match Point Tennis in Griffith, Ind., and Youngstown State (9-11, 4-2 HL) at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Flames Outdoor Tennis Courts, weather permitting. Saturday will additionally serve as Senior Day, with the Flames honoring their four seniors before competition gets underway.
UIC is coming off of a 2-0 road trip where it collected a 4-3 win over Detroit and a 6-1 victory against Oakland. The Flames fell in doubles against the Titans while they took the first point against the Golden Grizzlies with wins at all three positions. Mariana Palacios, Jana Knoppe and Keti Mebuke went a perfect 2-0 in singles, with Kathryn Sharples, Ann-Sophie Hahn and Veronica Lacerda additionally picking up a win in competition.
In singles, UIC is 29-7 when facing Horizon League opponents with Knoppe, Palacios and Mebuke contributing undefeated records of 6-0, 6-0 and 5-0, respectively. Knoppe is also 17-1 on the season and has won her last 14 matches, while Palacios has won her last seven and Mebuke has taken her last six.
The tandems of Knoppe and Hahn (No. 2) and Palacios and Sharples (No. 1) are 3-1 in conference play this season while owning 4-2 records at their respective positions. Hahn/Lacerda, Natalia Kuvakina/Palacios, Knoppe/Mebuke and Kuvakina/Mebuke have additionally taken wins in the Horizon League.
Cleveland State enters into Friday’s match having won six of its last seven matches, including a 4-3 defeat over Milwaukee to give the Panthers their first conference loss of the season. The Flames have never lost a match against the Vikings and own a perfect 18-0 mark after capturing a 5-2 win last season.
Youngstown State is returning to competition after falling to Milwaukee and defeating Green Bay last weekend, and will face Valparaiso on Friday before heading to Chicago. Last season, UIC took a 4-3 win in the regular season before ousting the Penguins, 4-3, in the Horizon League Championship to remain undefeated in the all-time series, 15-0.