Women’s tennis adds OVC wins over break


Josh Saxton

Senior Hannah Kimbrough prepares to serve during the doubles match against Southeast Missouri Friday at Daring Courts. Kimbrough partnered with sophomore Grace Summers for the 7-0 win.

Kaitlin Cordes, Staff Reporter

The women’s tennis team competed in its first Ohio Valley Conference matchups over spring break. The squad also rounded up its non-conference play with a win over Arkansas State.

The Panthers opened up conference play with their first home match of the season. They toppled the 1-10 Southeast Missouri Redhawks with a 7-0 sweep on Mar. 18.

Eastern’s doubles teams snatched the all-important doubles points, capturing wins in all three matches.

Senior Ali Foster and junior Kelly Iden took on the Redhawks’ Mila Majtan and Isabella Krupa at the No. 2 spot. Foster and Iden gave the Panthers an edge by taking a 6-3 victory over their SEMO opponents.

Freshman Srishti Slaria and junior Kamile Stadalninkaite defeated Viviana Ortiz and Emilia Montenegro 6-3 in the No. 3 match. The win puts the pair at 7-2 in doubles action.

Senior Hannah Kimbrough and her partner sophomore Grace Summers was the only duo that struggled against the Redhawks. The Panther pair played a hard fought match against Mariya Kostiuk and Anais Emelie from the No. 1 spot. The match was the only doubles competition that went into extra sets, but Kimbrough and Summers solidified the doubles sweep with a 7-5 win.

In singles, four of the six wins for the Panthers came in straight sets.

Foster saw the same score in each of her set victories over Krupa at the No. 2 position, winning 6-1 both times.

Summers continued her win streak with a near sweep over Majtan. The 6-1, 6-0 victory was Summers’ ninth of the season.

Kimbrough rolled past Annisa Warasanti in the No. 4 matchup 6-1, 6-2.

Slaria rounded out the straight set victories with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Emelie at No. 5.

Iden was pushed to the limit at the No. 1 spot by Kostiuk as the two took their match to a third set. Iden eventually pulled through, winning 6-4, 6-7 (1-7), 10-5.

Stadalninkaite saw a similar situation in her No. 6 match up against Ortiz. Stadalninkaite also snagged the victory (6-2, 6-7 [4-7], 10-5) after going into three sets.

The Panthers met with Tennessee-Martin the next day, and the team earned a 4-1 win over the Skyhawks, putting Eastern at 2-0 in the conference.

Eastern jumped ahead early in the competition with two doubles wins.

Summers and Kimbrough picked up their seventh win of the season with a 6-3 victory over the Skyhawks’ Sarah Candeloro and Jermima Potter at the No. 1 spot.

Foster and Iden also secured their seventh season victory by earning a 6-4 win against Hitomi Naito and Burcu Tari.

Slaria and Stadalninkaite took home the Panthers’ only doubles loss of the day, falling to Asel Jumamukhambetova and Andrea Plantada Cortes 6-0.

On the singles side, the Panthers picked up three wins out of the four completed matches.

Slaria was pushed to three sets by Potter. The freshman trumped her opponent 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

Summers and Stadalninkaite also earned match victories for Eastern. Summers toppled Tari 6-2, 6-1, and Stadalninkaite beat Plantada Cortes 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.

Kimbrough fell to Jumamukhambetova 6-1, 6-1.

Iden and Foster’s respective matches went unfinished.

Eastern also took down Arkansas State last week with a 4-0 sweep. The match marked the Panthers’ last away match until Mar. 25 when the squad travels to Kentucky to face Murray State.

Eastern now sits at 8-4 overall.

Eastern Kentucky and Eastern Illinois are currently at the top of OVC standings, sharing a 2-0 conference record. Tennessee- Martin and Jacksonville State both sit in the second slot with 2-1 OVC records. Murray State, Austin Peay, and Southern University-Edwardsville are 1-1 to round out the top three OVC records.

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