Panthers facing Chicago teams over weekend

Parker Valentine, Women's Tennis Reporter


The Panthers resume play this weekend against two teams from Chicago. The Panthers will look to bounce back from Sunday’s nail biting loss to Illinois State, which the Panthers lost by one point.

The weekend slate begins this Saturday, with the first matches starting at 1 p.m. The Panthers will begin play against Chicago State in Chicago suburb Homewood, which will essentially be home court for the Cougars.

The last time the Panthers competed against Chicago State, it was a one sided affair. The Panthers dominated the meet from start to finish as they swept the Cougars 9-0. Senior Kelly Iden, junior Grace Summers, and senior Kamile Stadalninkaite all earned wins in the meet.

The Cougars will definitely remember this meet, as they only field two athletes under their third year. Other than sophomore Monica Pulgar and freshman Judit Aubets, the Cougars are a team of upper classmen.

The Cougars come into the meet with a record of 4-8, their most recent meet ending in a loss to Ohio Valley Conference opponent SIUE.

Although their record may be negative, home court may factor into the equation for the Cougars. They have notched three of their four wins at home or on neutral sites. Clearly they are more competitive in less hostile environments.

On the other hand, location of meets has not been a problem for the Panthers this season. They come into the meet with a record of 7-2, and they are a strong 6-1 on the road this season.

Play will continue Sunday for the Panthers. They take on DePaul and will be a bit closer to home with the meets taking place in Danville.

The Blue Demons will be a much less familiar opponent for the Panthers. None of the current Panthers have played DePaul in a spring season, and Eastern rarely fields the Blue Demons on their schedule.

The most recent time the Panthers played DePaul was in what was essentially a scrimmage during the fall season. The Panthers did not have much luck in this matchup as the Blue Demons won their only match against Eastern in the event.

DePaul comes into the meet with a much different roster than the Cougars, in terms of year diversity. The Blue Demons have a roster of eight athletes, with two of them at every grade level.

DePaul’s only seniors are Yuliya Shupenia and Ana Vladutu. The only constant for the Blue Demons is Coach Mark Ardizzone, who has been coaching in Lincoln Park for more than 20 years.

The first match Sunday begins at 1p.m.

Parker Valentine can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]