Women’s tennis loses to Eastern Kentucky

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Women’s tennis loses to Eastern Kentucky

Kelly Iden returns the ball in her singles match Friday at the Darling Courts. Iden won her singles match 7-5, 7-6 and (7-5).

Kelly Iden returns the ball in her singles match Friday at the Darling Courts. Iden won her singles match 7-5, 7-6 and (7-5).

Sean Hastings

Kelly Iden returns the ball in her singles match Friday at the Darling Courts. Iden won her singles match 7-5, 7-6 and (7-5).

Sean Hastings

Sean Hastings

Kelly Iden returns the ball in her singles match Friday at the Darling Courts. Iden won her singles match 7-5, 7-6 and (7-5).

Parker Valentine, Women's Tennis Reporter

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The Panthers continued Ohio Valley Conference play Friday against Eastern Kentucky.

The Panthers started off the day strong, as they clinched the doubles point early.

Senior Kamile Stadalninkaite and freshman Shelby Anderson won their doubles match in dominant fashion. The duo defeated Marina Marti Hernanz and Raquel Montalvo Perez in a sweep 6-0.

Freshman Emily Pugachevsky and sophomore Shristi Slaria clinched the doubles point for the Panthers. The pair defeated Laura Argente Escamilla and Sagung Putri Dwinta by a score of 6-4.

Pugachevsky and Slaria have been the Panther’s most productive doubles team this season as they own a record of 7-3 on the year when paired together.

Freshman Stella Cliffe and senior Kelly Iden rounded out the doubles card for the match. The duo was defeated by Kristina Lagoda and Viktorija Demcenkova 7-5.

The Panthers seemed to run out of steam when singles play began.

Iden started things off for the Panthers from her No. 1 spot. The senior defeated Lagoda in a hard fought three set match 7-5, 7-6, 7-5. The win puts Iden at 10 wins for the season, joining Cliffe as the second Panther to reach double-digit victories this season.

Iden is in the midst of one of her strongest campaigns with the Panthers. In her fourth and final spring season, she appreciates conference play more than ever.

“I enjoy the heightened level of competition (in OVC play) because it brings a vibrant, indescribable environment,” Iden said. “We not only compete on the courts together, but we also positively cheer for each other and form a stronger bond.”

The Panthers did not have much luck after that victory though. Eastern Kentucky bounced back from an early deficit, as they earned a win from the next three spots, as well as at No. 6. The Colonels defeated Cliffe, Slaria, and seniors Maria Moshteva and Stadalninkaite in the No. 2, 3, 4, and 6 spots respectively.

The Panthers next singles victory came from Pugachevsky, who finds herself on a three-match winning streak. Pugachevsky defeated Margaux Lacroix in a grueling third set, 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 to notch her third win in a row.

The defeat Friday puts the Panthers at 9-6 on the season and 1-2 in conference play.

The Panthers continue OVC play next weekend. They are set to take on Belmont Friday the 31st and Tennessee State Saturday, April 1st. Both matches are set to take place in Nashville with play set to begin at 2 p.m. Friday.

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