Eastern tennis team finds success at Illinois State


Sean Hastings

Sophomore Emily Pugachevsky returns the ball to Abby Carpenter in practice Sept. 21 at the Darling Courts. Eastern played at Illinois State this weekend.

Parker Valentine, Tennis Reporter

The Eastern women’s tennis team completed their fall season in dominant fashion over the weekend.

The Panthers were in Normal Saturday and Sunday at Illinois State University for the annual Redbird fall invitational. They recorded singles ten wins at the event, as well as recording wins in doubles.

Along with Eastern, three other universities were in attendance at the invite. Butler, Saint Louis and the host ,Redbirds ,rounded out the teams in action over the weekend.

In their second event in less than two weeks, junior Srishti Slaria and freshman Rachel Papavasilopoulos went undefeated in singles play at the meet. They went a combined 5-0.

Their wins came with the two Panthers fresh off of the ITA regional tournament at the University of Michigan, where the duo recorded victories as well.

Slaria opened her slate of matches Saturday morning with a win over Butler freshman Lauren Marx (6-2, 6-3). In her afternoon match up Saturday, Slaria defeated Saint Louis sophomore Ariana Rodriguez (6-3, 6-4).

Slaria played her most competitive match Sunday. The junior defeated rival Redbird junior Jana Kustova with two extra point games, and a first set tie break (7-6 [5], 7-5).

Slaria recorded a doubles win over the weekend as well. Her and partner sophomore Stella Cliffe defeated the Butler senior duo of Jordan Minnick and Bailey Padgett 6-3.

Papavasilopolous had a dominant performance in Normal as well. The freshman went 2-0 for the weekend.

Papavasilopoulos started play Saturday with a win over senior Bailey Padgett, after a second set tie break (6-2, 7-6 [4]).

On Sunday, she defeated ISU redshirt junior Veronika Golonova in a three set marathon, with 41 total points recorded (7-6, 9-7, 7-5).

Junior Abby Carpenter had a solid outing over the weekend as well, primarily against Butler. Carpenter defeated Butler junior Carla O’Bryne in matching sets Saturday (6-2, 6-2). She went on to beat Butler sophomore Carolina McAuley (6-2, 6-3).

Carpenter’s solid play did not stop at singles. She and freshman Claire Martin swept Saint Louis sophomore doubles opponents Mariluz Rojo and Gabriella Papachrisanthou 5-0.

The Panthers remaining victories at the Redbird invite came from freshman Karla Contreras, sophomore Emily Pugachevsky and Martin.

Contreras earned her victory in a three set match against fellow freshman Lauren Marx of Butler. She defeated Marx in a competitive third set (6-2, 3-6, 10-8).

Pugachevsky defeated Butler senior Rachel Sutton (6-2, 6-3). Martin Saint Louis Papachrisanthou, sweeping the first set (6-0, 6-3).

With fall play concluded for the Panthers, Eastern will have about a month and a half off before their spring season begins in January.

The Panthers will be back in Normal to start spring play. They will take on Illinois State Jan. 20.

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