Women’s tennis earns third sweep, faces SIUC

Kaitlin Cordes, Staff Reporter

The women’s tennis team had a strong showing over the weekend, earning a 9-0 sweep over the Saint Francis Fighting Saints.

This win moves the Panthers to a 3-2 overall record with the squad yet to play an Ohio Valley Conference opponent.

The Fighting Saints come away from the match with their second loss of the season, putting the team at 2-2 overall and 1-0 in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.

The tennis team achieved its goal of coming out of their previous match against Illinois State University more aggressive and consistent in doubles play.

The team of senior Hannah Kimbrough and sophomore Grace Summers gave their counterparts, Danielle Hoffman and Eva Lopez, a run for their money in the first doubles match of the day, defeating the Fighting Saints 6-2.

Senior Ali Foster and her partner, junior Kelly Iden, took on the Fighting Saints’ duo of Gabriella Demechenko and Tanya Gonzalez and walked away with 6-1 win.

Fresman Srishti Slaria and junior Kamile Stadalninkaite rounded out the doubles competition by blanking their St. Francis opponents, Ashley Golda and Britney Kupiec.

The Panthers never went to a third set in singles, earning a combined eight 6-0 victories for the day.

Foster, Summers, and Stadalninkaite picked up all available points in their duals. Each player won 6-0 in each of their combined six sets, winning in their respective No. 2, No. 3, and No. 5 spots.

Iden faced Demechenko at the No. 1 spot. Iden let her opponent take just one point in their first set, but she pulled out a 6-1 win. The second set was a complete sweep of all six points by Iden.

Kimbrough took on Gonzalez, coming out on top with a 6-1 victory in each of her sets at the No. 4 spot.

Freshman Abby Carpenter made her second appearance in the spring season an impactful one. Carpenter toppled Golda with a pair of set wins (6-3, 6-0).

The Panthers traveled north to face Chicago State over the weekend as well.

Eastern took on Chicago State in its seven-match homestand Sunday at the H-F Racquet and Fitness Club courts. The Chicago State Cougar came off a 3-4 loss to the Cardinal Stritch Wolves.

The Panther squad met the Cougars on the Danville Tennis Center courts in March of last year during the spring of 2015 season. Eastern took a 5-2 victory with one match each in both singles and doubles play won by default.

Chicago State’s two victories in last season’s match were a pair of wins in singles play at the No.2 and No. 4 spots. The Cougars’ Faith Huckabee defeated the now-graduated Sephora Boulbahaiem, and Carynne Lloyd trumped Eastern’s Summers in a three-set win.

Next up on the Panthers schedule is Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. The Panthers will look to earn their next victory over the Salukis on the University Courts in Carbondale on Saturday (Feb. 20) at 1 pm.


Kaitlin Cordes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]