Women’s tennis team ready action

Dillan Schorfheide, Women's Tennis Reporter


After two months of no action, the Eastern’s women’s tennis team’s spring season starts with a road challenge consisting of matches against Illinois State and the Illini, but veterans on the team say the Panthers are ready to play.

Junior Abby Carpenter said the team has been training and conditioning immensely in order to make sure everyone is in the best shape possible to take on all upcoming matches.

“We all have been waiting to compete at this level for several months, and are ecstatic that the time is finally here,” Carpenter said.

Last year, the Illini swept the Panthers in the only matchup between the two 7-0, and Illinois State defeated Eastern 4-3.

Senior Grace Summers defeated her Redbird counterpart Jelena Karla Vujicic in straight sets 7-5, 7-5 in that match, and she said she does not believe the loss from last season will be on the team’s mind the whole time.

“It is going to give us more motivation to beat them this year,” Summers said.

Despite the challenge ahead of the Panthers, Carpenter said she feels that the team will show strong results against both opponents.

“Our team is ready to take on anyone, and we are all excited to go out there and show off what all our hard work will lead to, no matter the results,” she said.

Summers said the team is hoping to get a positive learning experience out of the weekend, and she hopes everyone plays to their full potential and are happy with how they played.

In preparation for the matches, Summers said the team has focused on consistency and hitting the ball deeper in the court.

Eastern’s match Saturday is in Normal to face the Redbirds at 4 p.m., and Sunday the Panthers travel to Champaign for another 4 p.m. match against the Illini.

The match Saturday marks the beginning of the season for both Eastern and Illinois State and the first time the two teams have met since the Illinois State Redbirds Duals on Oct. 21 and 22.

Carpenter finished the weekend 2-1 in her singles play, and fellow junior Srishti Slaria posted a 3-0 singles record over the weekend.

The Illini open their season on Sunday, but have a 9:30 a.m. home match against visiting Florida State University before hosting Eastern in the afternoon. The Illini have had a shorter time off than Eastern and Illinois State, last playing in the Arizona State University Thunderbird Invite from November 4 to the 6.

Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]