Eastern succeeds at ITA regionals


Sean Hastings

Freshman Karla Contreras returns the ball to Abby Carpenter in practice Sept. 21 at the Darling Courts. Eastern players competed in the regional over the weekend.

Parker Valentine, Tennis Reporter

With the Midwestern ITA regionals at the University of Michigan wrapping up, Eastern’s women’s tennis team is back in Charleston, but not without leaving their mark in Michigan.

The Panthers combined for six wins in qualifying action. Sophomores Stella Cliffe and Emily Pugachevsky and freshman Rachel Papavasilopoulos all earned victories in singles play.

The Panthers defeated athletes from Bowling Green, Akron, Youngstown State, Detroit, and Ohio State.

Papavasilopoulos won three straight matches in qualifying action to earn a bid in the main singles bracket for the tournament.

She defeated Bowling Green freshman Vanesa Pardo to open qualifying play, dropping only three points in the match, winning (6-1, 6-2). In the second round, the freshman defeated sophomore Rita Pedroso without much more difficulty, winning (6-2, 6-2).

In Papavasilopoulos’ third and final match in qualifying play, the freshman defeated junior Sofia Macias in her most competitive match of the day. She defeated Macias in a second round tie breaker (6-4, 7-6 [6]).

After earning a bid in the main singles draw through qualifiers, Papavasilopoulos was defeated by Notre Dame junior Rachel Chong (6-1, 6-4).

Pugachevsky almost made the main singles bracket as well, the sophomore was one win shy of qualifying.

Pugachevsky defeated Bowling Green freshman Sidney Reineke to open qualifying play, winning matching sets (6-3, 6-3). She then defeated junior Andrea Ballinger of Ohio State by the same score (6-3, 6-3).

By round three, Pugachevsky met her match, she was defeated by Marquette senior Paula Tormos Sanchez (6-1, 7-5).

Cliffe finished 1 and 1 on the day, playing with a lower arm injury. She defeated fellow sophomore Ksenia Providokhina in qualifying action before being defeated by University of Chicago junior Rachel Le Comber.

The Panthers did not find the same success in doubles qualifiers that they had in singles play. Both Panther duos were defeated in the first round of competition.

The final four of singles action consisted of four Big Ten schools.

To advance to the singles championship, Michigan sophomore Chiara Lommer defeated Illini freshman Emilee Duong in matching sets (6-2, 6-2).

In the battle of redshirts, Ohio State redshirt freshman Shiori Fukuda defeated Northwestern redshirt junior Rheeya Doshi (6-2, 6-1)

Championship action in Michigan saw the reemergence of one of the classic rivalries in college sports.

Lommer of the Wolverines defeated Fukuda of the Buckeyes, sweeping one set, winning (6-0, 6-4).

The Big Ten claimed the doubles title as well, with Northwestern dominating. Wildcat seniors Erin Larner and Maddie Lip defeated fellow teammates Or and senior Alex Chatt 8-4 to win the doubles championship.

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