Their final event of the season was the 2012 World Team Trophy.
Ilinykh/Katsalapov started their season with gold at the 2012 Crystal Skate of Romania.
During the 2009–10 season, Ilinykh/Katsalapov competed for the first time on the Junior Grand Prix circuit.At their first event, the event in Budapest, Hungary, they won the gold medal.Ilinykh fell ill before the free dance due to food poisoning but went on to compete.They placed second in the segment and won the silver medal.They won silver at their first 2012–13 Grand Prix event, the 2012 Rostelecom Cup.
At the 2012 NHK Trophy, Ilinykh/Katsalapov were third after the short dance.They were named Discovery of the Year at the 2010 Crystal Ice Awards held in October 2010 in Moscow.For the 2010–11 season, Ilinykh/Katsalapov chose a ballet-themed free dance to Don Quixote: "[Zhulin] wanted us to do something classical Russian, and only very few people have done a real ballet program in dance." They made their senior debut at the 2010 NHK Trophy where they finished fourth.At their second event, in Torun, Poland, they won a second gold medal and qualified for the JGP Final.After winning the silver medal behind Ksenia Monko / Kirill Khaliavin at the Final and at the Russian Junior Championships, they moved past them to win gold at the 2010 World Junior Championships.At their next event, the 2013 Trophee Eric Bompard, they scored personal bests in both segments, finishing with an overall score of 171.89 points and winning the silver medal ahead of French ice dancers Nathalie Pechalat / Fabian Bourzat.