Panthers win close one, lose close one over weekend


Sean Hastings

Senior Kelly Iden and freshman Stella Cliffe await the serve from their oppoents in the Panthers’ home opening match at the Darling Courts March 24.

Parker Valentine, Women's Tennis Reporter

The Panthers finished the last weekend of their spring season with two of their closer matches of the spring.

One resulted in a hard fought win, one resulted in a close loss.

The Panthers rallied to defeat Southeast Missouri Friday, after losing the doubles point.

Senior Kelly Iden started singles action from her No. 1 spot. She defeated sophomore Isabella Krupa in three sets, winning 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Junior Grace Summers was defeated by freshman Oleksandra Doroshenko 6-2, 7-5 from her No. 2 spot.

Freshman Stella Cliffe kept momentum alive, though. Cliffe defeated fellow freshman Kseniya Zonova 6-1, 7-6.

Sophomore Shristi Slaria followed that up with a win of her own, coming from the No. 4 spot. Slaria defeated senior Annisa Warasanti in matching sets 6-3, 6-3. The victory was Slaria’s third straight win in singles competition.

SEMO senior Mila Majtan defeated senior Maria Moshteva in the No. 5 spot 6-3, 6-1.

Freshman Emily Pugachevsky continued her tear through OVC play Friday. The freshman defeated sophomore Anais Emelie 6-3, 6-3.

The win was Pugachevsky’s ninth straight, and kept her undefeated OVC record in singles alive at 8-0.

The Panthers continued weekend competition Saturday in one of their most competitive matches of the season.

The Panthers were defeated by Tennessee-Martin 3-4. The Skyhawks are ranked second in the conference behind only undefeated SIUE with a record of 12-4.

The Skyhawks, who are usually led by their stand out seniors, had their younger players step up in the meet.

The competition was close all day. The Skyhawks set the tone early as they won the doubles point 2-1.

Senior Sarah Candeloro and sophomore Jemima Potter defeated Iden and Cliffe, in a marathon match from the No. 1 doubles spot. They won, after a twenty-point tie break 7-6 (11-9).

Summers and Senior doubles specialist Kamile Stadalninkaite kept the doubles point alive in a dominant performance. The upperclassmen defeated all OVC senior Hitomi Naito and sophomore Asel Jumamukhambetova 6-1.

Sophomore Andrea Plantada Cortes and senior Tari Burcu clinched the point for the Skyhawks in a 6-4 victory over Pugachevsky and Slaria.

In singles, the two teams split their matches 3-3. Iden was defeated by Candeloro 6-1, 6-4.   

Summers defeated Naito handedly, winning 6-1, 6-1, in the quickest singles match of the day.

Jumamukhambetova defeated Cliffe in the No. 3 spot 6-2, 6-2.

Slaria picked up another point for the Panthers with a victory in a three set match against Tari 6-0, 2-6, 6-4 from her No. 4 spot.

Slaria is going into tournament play red hot in the OVC after the sophomore got off to a sluggish start in conference play. She is on a four match win streak heading into next week’s tournament.

Slaria isn’t the only Panther heading into the tourney with on a winning streak. Pugachevsky finished the OVC regular season undefeated with a win Saturday. The Freshman defeated junior Elina Geut 6-3, 6-4.

The win not only clinched an undefeated OVC record for Pugachevsky at 9-0, it was also her tenth straight victory in spring play.

With the weekend competition finished, the OVC tournament bracket has been finalized and EIU, as the No. 4 seed, will see SEMO in the first round of the tourney.

Tournament play begins Friday, April 21, at 10 a.m.

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