Women’s tennis faces double-header this weekend

Dillan Schorfheide, Women's Tennis Reporter


Three times this season, the women’s tennis team has lost a close match, but the deciding factor in those matches has been the doubles point.

Samuel Kercheval, who is helping the women’s team as an interim coach, has said before that the doubles point is important in matches.

“The doubles point is always a big factor,” he said. “We have had three matches that were really close final scores and the doubles point could have turned any one of them.”

In the very first match of the season, against Illinois State on Jan. 20, the Panthers lost 4-3, losing the doubles point and winning three singles points. Then on Sunday, Ball State, won the doubles point in both matches of the doubleheader.

The first match ended with a 3-4 loss for Eastern, and the second match ended in a 4-2 loss for Eastern. In the second match, freshman Rachel Papavasilopoulos’ singles match went unfinished. But even if she had won, the Panthers would have lost 4-3 again.

The doubles part of tennis matches is commonly played out before the singles matches, and three duos participate. Each doubles matchup is played to a one set victory, and whichever team gets the most sets won (two-out-of-three or all three) gets one point for the overall team score.

The doubles point has great significance because if the two teams tie 3-3 in singles matches, the doubles point will have decided the winner.

He said the team got discouraged from losing the doubles point, and the Panthers ended up losing 7-0.

Going into this weekend, Kercheval said the team has focused on that doubles point this week.

“We have worked on it in practice and will continue to build on some fundamental things to help get more consistency,” he said. “We have played some really good doubles at times, but haven’t had the consistent performance that gets us the doubles point.”

He said part of the reason the team has lost the doubles points so far is still working through chemistry and combinations.

The other parts of it is really understanding the game plan and sticking to it under pressure and the confidence of the team, he said.

This weekend, Eastern hosts Western in Danville at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and on Sunday, the Panthers play at Saint Louis

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