Eastern Kentucky making trip to play Panthers

Parker Valentine, Women's Tennis Reporter


The Panthers continue their spring season Friday against the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky. This will be the Panthers first real home match of the spring season.

All other home matches for the Panthers have taken place at neutral sights so far this season. This will be their first meet in Charleston.

This will be the Panthers third match in eight days, though coach Emily Wang is undeterred.

“We have been preparing for the spring season and conference season all year, so I am confident that our conditioning will help us with this stretch of matches in such a short period of time,” said Wang.

The Colonels come into the meet with a record of 5-7, they are 1-1 in conference play and 1-2 on the road this season.

This will be the Panthers’ third match of OVC play this season. They come into Friday with a conference record of 1-1. Although the Colonels are coming to Charleston with a sub .500 record, the Panthers know that nothing in OVC play is predictable.

“We like to keep a mindset that every team will be tough. We don’t expect any easy matches and know that every team will fight until the very end,” senior Kamile Stadalninkaite said.

Their most recent meet against the Colonels might be a sign of things to come. Their match against Eastern Kentucky last spring was the most competitive match they’ve played against the Colonels in a decade. They were narrowly defeated, by a score of 4-3.

Junior Grace Summers led the charge in that meet. Not only did she defeat singles opponent (graduate) Corentine Bodin (6-4, 6-4), she and doubles partner (graduate) Hannah Kimbrough notched a win in doubles as well.

Summers understands the competitive nature of OVC play, as she is competing in her third year with the Panthers.

“(OVC play) is more competitive. The atmosphere is more intense with all the cheering going on throughout the matches,” Summers said.

Though they will be at home, the courts in which the matches will be played is yet to be determined. Traditionally the Panthers play their home matches at the Darling tennis courts, just west of O’Brien field. The weather will be the determining factor.

Friday’s forecast calls for a chance of rain. If rain does indeed start to fall, the Panthers’ matches will be held indoors.

Friday’s matches (barring weather delay) are set to begin at 10 a.m.

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