Women’s tennis team with tough tests at Notre Dame, Ball State

Dillan Schorfheide, Women's tennis reporter

 Eastern’s women’s tennis team already had a tough start to its schedule, going on the road to Illinois State and to Illinois, which features a doubles duo ranked 45 nationally, and the Panthers’ schedule will not hold back this weekend either.

On Saturday, the Panthers travel to South Bend to face Notre Dame, and following on Sunday, Eastern travels to Ball State.

Last weekend, Eastern lost a close match to Illinois State 3-4, with the deciding point coming down to a third set in a singles match, that was decided by one point (junior Srishti Slaria lost 7-6 in the third set after coming back to win the second set).

After the losses, men’s coach Samuel Kercheval, who is helping the women’s team while their coach is on leave, said the team was definitely disappointed, but he told the team to use that disappointment to fuel them for this upcoming weekend.

The Panthers will definitely need that fuel to emerge victorious this weekend, as both of their opponents have earned impressive wins already in the young season.

Notre Dame faced the Western Michigan Broncos on Tuesday and walked away with a 7-0 shutout win under their belt.

Then for Ball State, despite starting the season with a rough 6-1 loss to Northwestern, the Cardinals bounced back and defeated Illinois State in a convincing 6-1 fashion.

Ball State’s meeting with Eastern Sunday will be a doubleheader. One player Eastern will have to look out for against Ball State is freshman Victoria Sec.

Sec is the only Cardinal player who is undefeated so far, and she got the lone point for her squad against Northwestern. After losing the first set, she won the second set 6-4 and the third set 7-6.

Then against Illinois State’s Ivon Mihaleva, who defeated Slaria in the three-set deciding point on the 20, Sec won in quick, straight sets.

Just like Ball State, the Fighting Irish are coming off a victory, which happens to be their only match of the spring season so far.

One player that will be a threat to Eastern is Notre Dame’s Brooke Broda.

Broda finished last spring season with a 12-9 singles record, and against Western Michigan on Tuesday, she started her year undefeated after winning in three sets 6-7, 6-1, 10-2 in the No. 1 spot.

Eastern’s match against Notre Dame starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and the Panthers matches Sunday against Ball State are at 1:30 and 4 p.m.

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