CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois seniors Jordyn Poulter and Blayke Hranicka are both getting a homecoming of sorts in their final collegiate season. The Illini open the regular season this weekend at the Colorado State Tournament. Poulter is from nearby Aurora while Hranicka hails from Denver. Illinois’ first match is Friday afternoon against UNCW, then later that night they take on the host school.
“It’s always nice to go back to your home state,” Poulter said. “Blayke are really excited about going back to Colorado, especially because they’re (Colorado St.) selling it as their white out match. There’s going to be a good crowd and the emotions will be high but it will be a lot of fun.”
“Always exciting to compete against someone other than yourselves and we start off with a bang here,” Illinois head coach Chris Tamas said. “They’re going to be experienced and they’re going to be fired up. When you’ve got the No. 12 ranking, you’ve got the target on your back and we’ll have it no other way.”
Illinois will play three weekend matches in Colorado, including Saturday night against Northern Colorado. The Illini are coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in Tamas’ first season, finishing the season with a 23-11 record.