Women’s tennis finishing season on the road at Southeast Missouri


Lauren McQueen

Junior Grace Summers returns the ball during her doubles match with senior Kamile Stadalninkaite against Austin Peay opponents Saturday at the Darling Courts. The match went unfinished after Austin Peay earned the doubles point.

Parker Valentine, Women's Tennis Reporter


The Panthers finish their regular season on the road this weekend. They head to Cape Girardeau, Mo. Friday to take on the Redhawks of Southeast Missouri.

SEMO is having a strong spring season andhas a 13-5 record entering the match up. They are 5-2 in OVC play and are coming off a win against Jacksonville State. They hold a record of 5-1 at home this season.

The Panthers have defeated the Redhawks in five consecutive seasons. Three of those victories have been sweeps.

The last time the Panthers played the Redhawks they won by a score of 7-0.

Seniors Kelly Iden, and Kamile Stadalninkaite, junior Grace Summers, and sophomore Shristi Slaria all earned victories against SEMO in singles competition.

The duo of Slaria and Stadalninkaite earned a win in doubles. Summers and Iden also won their doubles matches.

Although the Panthers have conference familiarity with SEMO, the Redhawks have three new freshmen this spring. Every year brings new challenges in college athletics.

The Panthers are coming off a close loss to Austin Peay, and coach Emily Wang said her group is coming into Friday’s matchups with some extra motivation this week.

The first matches are set to begin at 2 p.m.

The Panthers continue their road trip Saturday. They head to Tennessee to take on Tennessee-Martin for their last match of the spring season.

The Skyhawks have had a dominant season. They are in sole possession of second place in the OVC with an 11-3 record. They are undefeated in OVC play and they are only trailing undefeated SIUE in the conference.

The Skyhawks are led by a senior class that consists of three athletes that have eclipsed 100 career wins in their collegiate careers. Seniors Hitomi Naito and Sarah Candeloro were both named to the all OVC team last year and Naito has earned two all-conference honors.

Eastern has won their last two meets against the Skyhawks, although it was more competitive.

In their last match, the Panthers defeated UT Martin 4-1. Slaria and Stadalninkaite both earned a singles win. Summers and Iden earned a win in both singles and doubles in the match.

The first matches Saturday will begin at 2p.m.

After these meets the Panthers will prepare for the OVC tournament, which begins April 21st in Nashville.

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