Women’s tennis team ready to continue hot stretch

Chris Picazo, Staff Reporter

The Eastern women’s tennis team heads into its Ohio Valley Conference match against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on a six-game win streak.

The Panthers are coming off a 4-3 win against Murray State Saturday at the Darling Courts and are expecting a tight match against Edwardsville.

“We approach all the conference matches the same,” Eastern coach John Blackburn said. “We expect them to be exciting and tightly contested.”

The Panthers did not get the doubles point for the first time during their winning streak in the match against Murray State.

Singles matches were a success as the Panthers were able to obtain four of the six points.

Junior Ali Foster continued her winning ways as she defeated junior Megan Blue in straight sets.

Blackburn said Foster has continued to be a leader for his team this season.

“Ali (Foster) has been a great leader for us for the last couple of years, and she has really grown into a strong leader for us,” Blackburn said.  “She has excellent interpersonal skills that allow her to get on a teammate’s level and help them through things and relate to them.  She has been a very good role model and leader for the team this year.”

Blackburn added the Panthers have a high level of confidence right now, and the win against Murray State will help prepare them in the match against Edwardsville.

“We had a strong first week of OVC play,” Blackburn said. “That definitely is a positive for us going forward. We had some great singles performances of the weekend that we are going to try to build on, but I think our doubles can reach a higher level that we’ll try to reach.”

Edwardsville is coming off a 7-0 win against Austin Peay in its last match Saturday.

The Cougars obtained the doubles point and also swept the singles matches.

Blackburn said the key to getting the victory is to always improve from the previous match to reach the highest potential the team possibly can.

“I think trying to improve our level of play from last weekend, and understanding we have another level we still can reach,” he said.

He added conference play is much more competitive than non-conference play, and he expects a close match.

“These are the most exciting matches of the season,” Blackburn said. “I think the intensity and excitement are definitely ramped up.”

Chris Picazo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]