Women’s tennis wins two of three over weekend

Dillan Schorfheide, Women's Tennis Reporter

After having a weekend off from competing in any tennis matches, Eastern’s women’s tennis team had a three-match weekend and walked away with a pair of victories and a loss to DePaul.

Eastern swept its doubleheader in Champaign Friday, first defeating Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis 5-2 in the morning, then defeating the University of Illinois Springfield 6-1 in the afternoon.

Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis fell to 3-9 for the season, and Illinois Springfield dropped to 6-3 on the season.

Adding in the Panthers’ 6-1 loss on Sunday, DePaul improved to 5-5 with its victory, while Eastern came away from the weekend 6-9 overall.

Coach Sam Kercheval said the weekend off last week gave the team a chance to get extra recovery time. Junior Abby Carpenter agreed, saying the time off helped them this weekend.

“Our whole team went into the matches well-rested and relaxed, which accounted for a successful weekend,” she said.

Unlike many of the Panthers’ matches earlier in the season, Eastern won both doubles points against its opponents Friday, something Kercheval said is important to do.

Freshman Claire Martin said it was a great way to start off the weekend.

Against Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis, Eastern won all three doubles matches for the point, and against Illinois Springfield, the Panthers won two of the three doubles matches to secure the team point.

Both points were not necessary, though, because the Panthers played well in the singles portion of the competition to secure the sweep of the doubleheader.

Three of Eastern’s singles points came without much of a headache.

Sophomore Stella Cliffe, and Carpenter and junior Srishti Slaria all won their singles matches in straight sets, winning all their sets by an average of four points.

Sophomore Emily Pugachevsky had to battle a bit harder to earn her victory, winning a tiebreaking third set over Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis’ Samantha Mayer 6-2, 6-7, 1-0.

Almost in the same tune as Friday’s morning match, the Panthers won all of their singles points against Illinois Springfield in straight sets.

Cliffe, Slaria, Pugachevsky, Martin and freshman Karla Contreras won in straight sets by an average margin of victory of just under five points per set.

Cliffe had the closest of any singles match, winning both sets 7-6.

Sunday brought a complete opposite result of both matches Friday.

DePaul controlled the match from the opening mark, taking the doubles point by defeating all three of Eastern’s duos.

The Panthers’ solo point came from Carpenter, who defeated her opponent, Alina Kuzmenko, in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.

Carpenter finished with a 2-0 record for the weekend.

“Personally, having more time to practice and work on skills these past two weeks allowed me to be more confident with my game and overall mental attitude coming into my two matches,” Carpenter said.

The next time the Panthers have a match is the weekend coming back from spring break, when the Panthers host their first home match of the spring and start conference play against Jacksonville State on Friday the 16th.

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