Illinois Beats VCU, Will Play Washington-Army Winner
May 12, 2001
SEATTLE--Freshman Eva Choe played on a victorious doubles team and won the decisive singles match Saturday, lifting 31st-ranked Illinois to its first ever NCAA Tournament victory with a 4-2 decision over No. 45 Virginia Commonwealth in the regional semifinals at Quillian Stadium.
The Fighting Illini (18-7) awaits a regional final meeting with either Army or host Washington, Sunday at noon Pacific Time. The regional winner advances to the 16-team NCAA finals in Stone Mountain, Ga., May 17-20.
Choe teamed with Carla Rosenberg for an 8-3 doubles win over VCU's Silvia Urickova and Yana Carollo. Jennifer McGaffigan and Eldina Fazlic clinched the doubles point for Illinois with a 9-7 win over the duo of Wendy Hsu and Anca Dumitrescu.
The Rams (13-8) lost despite wins in the top two singles positions. Martina Nedelkova, the nation's 12th-ranked singles player, defeated McGaffigan 6-1, 6-4 and Dumitrescu topped Fazlic 7-6, 6-4 in the No. 2 spot.
Illinois got singles victories at Nos. 5 and 6 from Michelle Webb and Rosenberg, setting up Choe's clinching 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 win over VCU's Urickova at the No. 4 spot.
NCAA WOMEN'S TENNIS TOURNAMENT
Records: Illinois 18-7, Virginia Commonwealth 13-8.
o Illinois registered its first ever NCAA Tournament victory. The Illini are making their fourth NCAA championships appearance, having participated in 1997, 1999 and 2000.
o Freshman Eva Choe clinched Illinois' victory with a win at No. 4 singles. Choe was originally listed at No. 5 in the lineup, but was moved into the No. 4 spot in place of Tiffany Eklov who was scratched. Eklov has been battling back spasms. Choe joined the Illinois squad in January after graduating high school in December.
Illinois Coach Sujay Lama
Illinois No. 4 Singles Player Eva Choe