Panthers ready for 2nd-straight double-header

Maria Baldwin, Staff Reporter

The Eastern women’s tennis team is set to play this weekend against Butler University Friday at the Butler Bubble in Indianapolis, Ind.

The Panthers also will take on Western Illinois Sunday at the Lakeside Recreation in Galesburg.

This is the second-straight weekend the Panthers will play two matches.

Eastern coach John Blackburn thinks both Butler and Western are playing solid tennis right now based on their recent results, and the matches against the two will be solid.

Butler is 3-7 on the season and is coming off of a win against Dayton on Feb. 14.

Butler sophomore Kylie Haviland is leading her team with an overall record of 6-4 in singles matches. Sophomore Kailey Eaton follows Haviland with an overall record of 3-5.

In doubles teams matches, Eaton and freshman Bailey Padgett lead Butler with an overall record of 4-3, followed by senior Angelina Qin and freshman Rachel Sutton with a 3-1 record.

Western Illinois comes into the match Sunday with a 1-9 record overall after just winning their first match against Wisconsin-Green Bay Saturday.

Freshman Courtney Lubbers leads Western Illinois in singles matches with an overall record of 2-6, followed by Sophomore Andriana Johnson with an overall record of 1-6 for singles matches, respectively.

Freshman Arianna Demos and Sophomore Nicole Jones lead the Leathernecks in doubles teams matches with an overall record of 1-5. Lubbers and sophomore Jenna Wallace compete in doubles teams matches as well and haven’t won a match all season. The tandem is 0-8 this season.

One of the main things Blackburn wants to work on in practice this week is all types of things.

‘’We are working on some tactical things and different approaches in singles mainly this week,” Blackburn said.

Junior Ali Foster leads the Panthers with a season record of 4-1 in singles matches. Senior Sephora Boulbahaiem is also a force for the Panthers with a season record of 3-2 in singles matches.

Foster was one of two lone Panthers last weekend at SIU to achieve a singles win when she defeated freshman Yana Golovkina, 6-4 7-5.  Sephora Boulbahaiem achieved a win as well, defeating SIU freshman Athena Chrysanthou 6-2 7-5.

Foster and junior Hannah Kimbrough lead the Panthers with a record of 4-1 in doubles teams matches, followed by Boulbahaiem and freshman Grace Summers with a record of 2-2.

Foster and Kimbrough defeated freshman Vitoria Beirao and sophomore Polina Dozortseva of SIU last weekend 6-3 in doubles matches.

The biggest improvement Blackburn wishes to see from his team is a good approach to their singles matches and being aware of what their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses are.

Blackburn is excited to see what the women can do.

‘’I think just getting on the court twice this weekend will be good for us,” Blackburn said. “Playing twice a weekend is what we’ll be doing in conference play so this will be good preparation for us.’’

The Panthers are set to play Butler Friday at 3 p.m, and Western Illinois Sunday at 3 p.m.

Maria Baldwin can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]