Women’s tennis finishes 7-9 at SIU

Sean Hastings, Staff Reporter

The Eastern women’s tennis team competed at the SIU Saluki Invitational and finished with a 7-9 overall record in Carbondale on Saturday.

The match originally started at the University courts, but because of the weather, the match was moved to the Garden Grove Events Center to complete the rest of the match.

Only six of the seven women competed for the Panthers on Saturday, as sophomore Maria Moshteva was not available for Eastern.

The Panthers finished with three wins and seven losses in singles play, while going 4-2 in doubles play.

They played a lot of close matches with a very good team, which impressed Director of Tennis and Eastern coach John Blackburn.

Eastern freshman Grace Summers was victorious in one of her two singles matches, defeating her opponent, Meagan Monaghan 2-6, 6-2, 10-4, and later dropping her match with Natasha Tomishima 8-3.

Also winning in her only singles match was junior Ali Foster, defeating her opponent, Ariadna Cairo Baza 0-6, 7-5, 10-5.

The final Panther winning in one of two singles matches was sophomore Kamile Stadalninkaite. She defeated her opponent, Lauren Hoekstra 8-5, and dropped a match to Hannah Wich in straight sets 0-6, 3-6.

The Panthers improved play in doubles matches, going a combined 4-2, which Blackburn said continues to be a strength for the Panthers.

The pairing of Summers and senior Sephora Boulbahaiem at No. 1 doubles lost to the pairing of Tomishima and Monaghan 6-8. However, the Eastern duo later beat their opponents 8-6.

Foster and junior Hannah Kimbrough defeated Baza and Athena Chrysanthou 8-6 at No. 2 doubles in their first match, but then dropped the second match to Tomishima and Monaghan 8-6.

Also victorious in doubles play was Stadalninkatie and fellow sophomore Kelly Iden, winning both matches at No. 3 doubles.

Blackburn was very pleased with how the pairing played.

The sophomores won their first match against the pairing of Gisela Cairo Baza and Polina Dozortseva 8-6 and the second against Wich and Hoekstra 8-3.

“The competitive spirit and the doubles play were probably the strengths,” Blackburn said.

The next time that the women will be playing will be at the ITA Regional at the University of Illinois that starts Friday and runs through Monday.

That will be the final time the women play before the regular season starts in the spring.

Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]