Women’s tennis team season ends in OVC semifinals

Bob Reynolds, Sports Editor

The Eastern women’s tennis team season ended in the Ohio Conference Valley tournament Saturday in Nashville, Tenn., after a 4-0 loss to top-seeded Murray State.

The Racers avenged a loss to the Panthers earlier this season.

Murray State duo of sophomores Eleonore Tchakarova and Verginie Tchakarova defeated Eastern freshman Grace Summers and senior Sephora Boulbahaiem in the first doubles match, 8-6.

The Racer duo of sophomore Alena Vasileva and junior Megan Blue defeated Eastern sophomores Kelly Iden and Kamile Stadalninkaite, 8-3, in the No. 3 doubles match to give the Racers the doubles point.

The match between Eastern junior doubles partners Ali Foster and Hannah Kimbrough and Murray state doubles partners senior Andrea Eskauriatza and junior Erin Patton were tied 7-7 when the match went unfinished because it was not needed.

The Panthers were unable to come back and secure a victory after losing three singles matches to Murray State.

Eskauriatza defeated Iden in the No. 1 singles match in straight sets 6-3, 6-1. Tchakarova defeated Ali Foster in straight sets as well 6-2, 6-2. In the No. 6 singles match, freshman Maria Moshteva was defeated by Patton 6-1, 6-1.

The matches that involved Kimbrough, Boulbahaiem and Summers in singles matches were not needed, because Murray State had already won the match after the three singles wins.

Murray State ended up being the eventual OVC champion after defeating Eastern Kentucky Sunday.

After losing 7-0 to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville earlier in the season, the Panthers defeated the Cougars, 4-3, in the first round of the OVC tournament.

The Panthers were able to win the doubles point with the help of the duo of Summers and Boulbahaiem, and Iden and Stadalninkaite.

Summers and Boulbahaiem defeated Cougar sophomore Mia Frogner and senior Kali Donner, 8-4, in the No. 1 doubles match.

Iden and Stadalninkaite defeated Cougars duo senior Haley Ilcewicz and junior Monique Krutak, 8-3, in the No. 3 doubles match.

The Panther duo of Foster and Kimbrough were defeated by Edwardsville sophomore Lexi Aranda and junior Sierra Halverson, 8-4.

The Cougars and Panthers split the six singles matches played.

Foster defeated Frogner 6-2, 7-5, in the No. 2 singles match. Summers defeated Krutak in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.

In the No. 5 singles match, Kimbrough defeated Halverson 6-2, 6-2.

Moshteva was defeated by Ilcewicz in straight sets 6-2, 6-3. Donner defeated Boulbahaiem in straight sets 6-1, 7-5.

Iden was defeated by Aranda 6-1, 6-4 in the No. 1 singles match.

Eastern finished out its season with a 13-7 record overall and an 8-4 record in conference play, which included games in tournament play.

Boulbahaiem is the only graduating senior for the Panthers.

Eastern will be back in action in the fall.

Bob Reynolds can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]