Women’s tennis looking for success at Drake

Parker Valentine, Women's Tennis Reporter

The Panthers women’s tennis team has a long journey ahead of them for the next two meets of the 2017 spring season.

The Panthers head to Des Moines, Iowa beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday to take on Drake University

The Bulldogs come in to the weekend with a record of 5-4 and 4-2 at home.

The Bulldogs team is a mixed bunch, consisting of three juniors, two sophomores, and a freshman.

Despite none of the coach Emily Wang’s Panthers having experience against Drake, the coach said preparation for the match will be the same as any other week.

After missing last weekend’s match, junior Grace Summers is listed as probable for weekend sets.

The Panthers will get a short break after the meet at Drake to enjoy Spring Break. They do not compete again until the Friday, March 17 at Jacksonville State.

The Gamecocks come in to the meet with a record of 3-7, dropping six straight meets after going 2-1 in their first three meets.

The Gamecocks bring a young roster to the matchup with four freshmen, and one senior and junior.

The Panthers have found consistent success against the Gamecocks defeating them in all three of their most recent spring meets.

No Panthers on this years roster have been defeated by the Gamecocks during the spring season.

Senior Kelly Iden, sophomores Abby Carpenter and Shristi Slaria, and Summers all registered singles victories in the teams’ last meeting during the 2016 season.

Senior Kamile Stadalninkaite notched a doubles win with partner Srishti Slaria. Summers and Iden both notched doubles wins as well.

To get to the two meets over the next couple weeks, the Panthers will be on the road for a combined fourteen hours. They will have to get creative to avoid boredom and remain focused.

“On long trips we watch movies and sing. This year we are planning on doing karaoke inside the van,” Stadalninkaite said.

The Panthers first match is set to start at 10a.m. Friday, March 17 in Jacksonville.

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