Panthers struggle in Edwardsville

Parker Valentine, Women's Tennis Reporter

The Panthers were defeated by Southern Illinois-Edwardsville by a score of 6-1. The loss gives them a record of 9-5 on the year, with a conference record of 1-1. The loss also gives the Panthers a three-match losing streak against the Cougars.

This was the Panthers first mid-week match of the season, all other meets so far have taken place on weekends.

The action started Wednesday with a familiar match up. Senior Kelly Iden started at the No. 1 spot for the Panthers, taking on Lexi Aranda. Iden was defeated, by a score of 6-1, 6-3.

This was the third year in a row where the two seniors faced off on the court. Both are strong competitors, and respect each other as such.

“We know them more as competitors than acquaintances,” said Iden.

Junior Grace Summers and freshman Stella Cliffe were up next in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots respectively. Summers was defeated 6-1, 6-3 by Mia Frogner while Cliffe was defeated by Morgan Steffes 6-4, 6-2.

Sophomore Shristi Slaria, at the No. 4 spot, was defeated by Tiffany Hollebeck 6-2, 6-1. Senior Maria Moshteva faced off against Lara Tupper in the No. 5 spot and was defeated in one of the more competitive matches of the day 6-3, 6-4.

Freshman Emily Pugachevsky notched the Panthers lone victory of the match. She defeated Callaghan Adams in three sets 6-4, 6-7, 10-6. 

Doubles was not much better for the Panthers. They were defeated in two of their three match ups with the Cougars; although Cliffe and Iden’s doubles match against Frogner and Hollebeck went not finished, and ended in a no contest. 

Although they lost, coach Emily Wang will use this match, just like every match, as a learning experience.

“The team knows that win or lose, we can always get better individually and as a team. We reflect on the match and pin point areas that need improvement regardless of the outcome,” said Wang.

The Panthers continue their Ohio Valley Conference schedule on Friday against Eastern Kentucky. They will be at home for the first time this year. The first matches are set to start at 10 a.m. at the Darling Courts.

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