Women's Tennis Prepares for Home Opener vs. Eastern Illinois
Phyllis Tigges
Phyllis Tigges

Jan. 23, 2014

Normal, Ill. - The Illinois State women's tennis team opens the spring season Jan. 24 at home versus Eastern Illinois. Competition will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Evergreen Racquet Club in Normal, Ill.

After finishing the fall season at the ITA Midwest Regionals in October 2013, the Redbirds have had a long break to prepare for the upcoming spring season. Head coach, Chris Hoover, feels confident that the time off has given his players ample opportunity for improvements that he hopes will be apparent in Friday's match.

"Myself and the team, we're all excited to begin playing," Hoover said. "I can just sense it with them in practice that they can do the math, these are all smart kids. They know how many positions there are and how many opportunities there are to play in this lineup. And so a number of them are coming out every day, practicing and fighting like they know their position depends on it-- and that's how you get better."

Previously, the Redbirds have faced the Panthers eight times over the last 14 seasons and have claimed victory each time.

"It's not about winning or losing necessarily, it's about our performing," Hoover said. "We need to work on performance, and so that's what I'm hoping--to see us really get out there and perform well."

A new doubles team has been formed this season, as freshman Madeliene Baillon and senior Phyllis Tigges will compete together in the Flight One position. Although only a freshman, Baillon proved herself to be an essential part of the team after earning a Missouri Valley Conference Individual Championship title in the fall 2013 season. Tigges also secured her own MVC Individual Championship title in the fall season. Also notable is doubles team, Heather Nisbet and Kadi Ilves who Hoover says is a rock-solid duo within the team.



The Redbirds will face the Panthers at 7:30 p.m. CT this Friday, Jan. 24 at the Evergreen Racquet Club located in Bloomington, Ill. Live coverage and results will be tweeted as competition progresses @ISUWomensTennis.