The Panthers are coming off consecutive wins last weekend in Dayton. They defeated both Dayton and Wright State at the events. Both wins came by a score of 5-2.
The Panthers will face Bradley in their first match, 1p.m. this Saturday in Peoria.
Bradley is a familiar foe for the Panthers, as the school faced them in two events during the fall season: first at the SIUE invitational, then at the Bradley invite.
In those events, the Panthers found success against the Braves. At the SIUE invite, freshman Emily Pugachevsky earned her first win as a Panther, as she defeated Bradley sophomore Malini Wijesinghe (6-4, 6-4).
Sophomore Abby Carpenter earned the Panthers’ other singles win against Bradley at the SIUE invite, with sophomore Srishti Slaria and freshman Stella Cliffe earning a doubles victory over the Braves.
At the Bradley invite, Pugachevsky and senior Kelly Iden defeated junior Alexa Brandt and senior Ashley Thai to earn third place in the tournament style event.
Head Coach Emily Wang expects a competitive weekend to be in store for the Panthers.
“Our Saturday match at Bradley will be competitive. We saw them at a tournament in the fall and they are a strong team. We will work hard this week and be ready to bring a lot of energy and fight to the competition,” Wang said.
The Panthers will stay on the road as they travel to Indianapolis for Sunday’s showdown with IUPUI. Sunday’s slate gets a bit of an early start with the first match starting at 10 a.m.
The Jaguars are an unfamiliar foe for the Panthers. The last time they faced off was all the way back to the 2011-2012 season, at which point none of the current Panthers were on the roster. The Panthers dominated that match 7-0.
Sunday is a bit of a homecoming for Iden, as the senior is from the Indianapolis area.
“I look forward to being back in my hometown and fighting on the courts with my teammates,” Iden said.
Iden looks to remain on a hot streak as she has been this season. She comes into the weekend undefeated in singles play.
“After this weekend, we have a lot of positive momentum. We will continue improving in practice this week and look forward to competing at a high level this weekend,” Iden said.
Parker Valentine can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]