ATLANTA--The Georgia State women's tennis team dropped a painfully close 4-3 match to No. 31-ranked Illinois on Saturday at the Blackburn Tennis Center.

With the team score tied 3-3, graduate student Jocelyn Ffriend rallied to force a third set at the No. 6 singles match looking to give GSU the victory. She fought off a 40-0 deficit while down 5-4 in the second set and rallied to tie the set and eventually win it in a tiebreaker. In the third set, Ffriend broke serve while down 4-1 but could not close the gap further.

The Panthers (2-2), led by sixth-year head coach Miha Lisac, dropped the doubles point vs. Illinois (3-4) to fall behind 1-0 in the team score early. The match was GSU's fourth-consecutive against a nationally-ranked opponent.

Junior Abigail Tere-Apisah bounced back from a doubles loss at the No. 1 position for a quick victory against No. 106-ranked Melissa Kopinski. Tere-Apisah, ranked No. 29 in the ITA National Singles rankings, won a 6-2, 6-1 match to record her second victory against a nationally-ranked singles opponent this season. The win gave GSU its first point on the day.

Sophomore Masa Grgan notched an important victory at No. 2 singles vs. Illinois' Rachael White. Her 6-4, 6-2 victory tied the team score at 2-2. Freshman Linn Timmermann then secured a lengthy 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win at No. 4 singles to tie the team score at 3-3. She trailed 2-1 and 4-3 in the third set before rallying to win the match.

Georgia State's match vs. Wake Forest that was originally schedule for 10 a.m. has been canceled. The Panthers next take the court on Feb. 9 at No. 68-ranked Auburn. Visit the women's tennis page on for a preview of the match next week.

#31 University of Illinois 4, #62 Georgia State 3
Singles competition
1. #29 Abigail Tere-Apisah (GSU) def. #106 Melissa Kopinski (UI) 6-2, 6-1
2. Masa Grgan (GSU) def. Rachael White (UI) 6-3, 6-2
3. #59 Allison Falkin (UI) def. Whitney Byrd (GSU) 6-3, 6-1
4. Linn Timmermann (GSU) def. Misia Kedzierski (UI) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
5. Breanne Smutko (UI) def. Chaimaa Roudami (GSU) 6-1, 6-0
6. Audrey O'Connor (UI) def. Jocelyn Ffriend (GSU) 7-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1

Doubles competition
1. #11 Melissa Kopinski/Rachael White (UI) def. #19 Abigail Tere-Apisah/Masa Grgan (GSU) 8-4
2. Audrey O'Connor/Breanne Smutko (UI) def. Whitney Byrd/Maryna Kozachenko (GSU) 8-3
3. Jocelyn Ffriend/Linn Timmermann (GSU) vs. Misia Kedzierski/Allison Falkin (UI) 3-6, unfinished