Women’s tennis adds OVC wins over break

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.

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]