Women’s tennis to have senior day

Parker Valentine, Women's Tennis Reporter


The Panthers finish their home schedule with senior day at the Darling courts Saturday.

The Panthers play Murray State Friday. They finish the weekend with senior day Saturday, against Austin Peay.

“It is an indescribable feeling representing EIU at EIU. Friends, families, faculty and the Charleston community come out to our matches, making the experience more fun and lively,” senior Kelly Iden said.

This senior class, consisting of Iden, Maria Moshteva and Kamile Stadalninkaite, has been through thick and thin together.

All three of these seniors have been apart of the team since their freshman year. They have spent all four years growing together.

“A lot of people transfer, but us three have stuck together from freshman year. I’m happy to have those two (Iden and Moshteva) with me,” Stadalninkaite said.

The feeling is mutual throughout the team from freshman to seniors.

“The seniors are always there for you. On the court, off the court, whether it’s personal or school, they’ve always been there for us,” freshman Shelby Anderson said.

Anderson won her last doubles match, where she was paired with Stadalninkaite.

Play begins at 1 p.m. Friday against Murray State. The Panthers have split their last two meets with the Racers.

Both meets have been very competitive, the final score of both of their last matchups was 3-4, with both teams earning one victory.

“It will be fun playing Murray State, they are one of our bigger rivals,” Moshteva said.

The significance of these last home matches was not lost on her either.

“I will miss my fellow seniors, you don’t realize how much it means to you and the university until you get to the end. You realize playing is not something you have to do; it is something you want to do. I got to compete every day with my team,” Moshteva said.

Senior day will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Panthers have won four straight games against the Governors and are looking for a fifth in a row.

“Win or lose the emotions will be positive, but going out with a win would be a great memory, especially on senior day,” Stadalninkaite said.

The impact these seniors have had on their team was not over looked by coach Emily Wang either.

“On some teams you will see that seniors are just on their way out, I think it’s been special that they’ve taken the freshman in and shown them the way of the team,” Wang said. “They have paved the way for the next four years by being excellent leaders on and off the court.”

The Panthers have averaged over a 3.5 GPA for both of the last two years.

These seniors appreciate their coach just as much as she appreciates them.

“I’d like to thank coach for being so good at what she does. It can be hard to transition to a new coach but I feel like she’s been our coach for four years,” Stadalninkaite said.

It is clear as well, how much not only their teammates and coach mean to them, but how much the Charleston and Eastern community means as well.

“I will remember the friendships I created here. It will be bitter-sweet leaving, as I will miss my teammates and friends. However, I am looking forward to my future opportunities and will always stay connected to EIU,” Iden said.

Stadalninkaite said she is going to come back as much as she can and that it is going to be hard to separate from Eastern.

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