Women’s tennis team to play in Bradley Invitational

Parker Valentine, Women's Tennis Reporter


The Eastern women’s tennis team continues their fall schedule this weekend, as the Panthers are heading to Peoria on Friday for Bradley University’s annual fall tournament.

Tournament play begins on Friday and goes through Sunday at the David Markin courts.

The Panthers have some history against the Braves, as they played Bradley last spring.

In last year’s event, the Panthers swept the Braves, winning the match up 7-0. Three current Panthers earned singles victories in the event.

Sophomore Stella Cliffe defeated senior Alexa Brandt from the No. 3 position (6-2, 6-4).

Junior Srishti Slaria swept senior Aimee Manfredo from the No. 4 spot (6-0, 6-0).

Sophomore Emily Pugachevsky defeated graduate Julie Martin in the most competitive match of the day.

It took Pugachevsky three sets to defeat Martin, winning two straight sets after dropping the first (3-6, 6-0, 6-2).

Pugachevsky and Slaria also earned a win as a duo in a doubles match at the event. The duo defeated Brandt and junior Malini Wijesinghe 6-3.

Cliffe earned a doubles win at the event as well. The sophomore earned a win with recent Eastern graduate Kelly Iden, defeating Natalia Barbery and Alejandra de Lasa 6-2.

Another team in attendance is Illinois State.

The Panthers have not had much success against the Redbirds over the past few years. They have lost two out of the last three matched played against Illinois State.

In their last match against Illinois State, the Panthers were defeated in a nail biter, although two current Panthers earned win in the match.

Cliffe defeated junior Jana Kustova (6-2, 6-3).

Slaria took a little more time to get her victory. Graduate Gabriela Sprague took her to three sets and a tie break before Slaria earned the win (4-6, 7-5, 7-6 [4]).

Western Illinois will be in attendance as well. The Panthers earned a sweep against the Bulldogs as well last spring, winning 7-0.

Cliffe defeated graduate Anna Daniel Fuentes (7-6, 6-0). Slaria earned an easy win at the event too. She defeated senior Cary Milanes, losing only three points in the match, winning (6-1, 6-2).

Pugachevsky won as well. She defeated Nicole Jones (6-4, 6-1). Slaria and Pugachevsky continued their hot season against Western, defeating Milanes and Fuentes in doubles play 6-2.

The Panthers resume play in a couple weeks at the ITA Midwest Regional at the University of Michigan.

The regional is an invite only event, but the Panthers have been well represented there in years past.

Last year three Panthers earned an invite to Michigan. Graduate Kelly Iden, Grace Summers, and Cliffe all got to play in the Midwest regional.

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