Edwardsville ends Eastern’s season with win in Ohio Valley championship


Lauren McQueen

Freshman Stella Cliffe returns the ball at the net during her singles match against Austin Peay’s Helena Kuppig April 8, 2017, at the Darling Courts. Cliffe fell to Kuppig 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Cliffe finished her first season this weekend during the OVC tournament defeating Southern Illinois Edwardsville’s Tiffany Hollebeck 6-4, 6-0.

Parker Valentine, Women's Tennis Reporter

 The Eastern Illinois women’s tennis team finished their spring season over the weekend in the Ohio Valley Conference championship.

The Panthers went 1-1 defeating No. 5 ranked Southeast Missouri Friday, but were defeated the next day by eventual champion Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

The duos of freshman Stella Cliffe and senior Kelly Iden, as well as freshman Emily Pugachevsky and sophomore Shristi Slaria clinched the doubles point for the Panthers.

Cliffe and Iden defeated SEMO’s Isabella Krupa and Oleksandra Doroshenko to earn the Panthers first win of the tournament. They finished the match with a final score of 6-2.

Cliffe and Iden also earned two of the Panthers match winning three points in singles competition.

Slaria and Pugachevsky earned the Panthers second win of the tourney and clinched the doubles point for the Panthers.

The duo defeated Mila Majtan and Ana Canahuate-Torres 6-2 in the clincher.

In singles action, the Panther victories came from senior Maria Moshtev.  Moshteva defeated Majtan in the quickest match of the day. She got the win in straight sets, finishing her match 6-2, 6-2. The victory ended a three-match losing streak for Moshteva.

Cliffe was the next to earn a singles victory for the Panthers. The freshman defeated Annisa Warasanti 6-4, 6-3. The senior defeated Krupa in the Panthers’ most competitive win of the day, finishing the match with a 7-5, 7-5 victory.

In tournament play, match rules are a bit different. To conserve time, the first team to reach four total points on the match earns the victory.

Iden’s victory was the Panthers  fourth point and sent them to the next round, where they faced SIUE.

SIUE went undefeated in their spring season, which earned them a first-round bye.

SIUE’s duo of Lara Tupper and Callaghan Adams were the first duo to earn a victory. They defeated Pugachevsky and Slaria 6-3.

Cliffe and Iden kept the point alive as they defeated Mia Frogner and Tiffany Hollebeck in a tie break, winning 7-6 (5-3).

All-OVC Lexi Aranda and Morgan Steffes clinched the doubles point for the Cougars. They defeated junior Grace Summers and senior Kamile Stadalninkaite in another tie break, 7-6 (8-6).

Singles was a back and forth battle between these two teams. All but one match went the distance in the meet.

Cliffe was the first athlete to earn a win in the match. She defeated Hollebeck 6-4, 6-0. Frogner helped the Cougars bounce back as she defeated Summers 6-4, 6-3. Aranda followed that up with a victory over Iden 6-3, 7-5. Slaria kept the Panthers in it though. She defeated Steffes in a marathon match, winning in a third set tie break 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9-7). Adams finished the match for the Cougars. She defeated Moshteva in three sets, winning 6-0, 2-6, 6-3.

SIUE went on to win their second straight OVC title the next day, making short work of Eastern Kentucky winning 4-1.

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