Panthers to face Eastern Kentucky Friday

Dillan Schorfheide, Women's Tennis Reporter


Early in the spring season, Eastern’s women’s tennis team struggled to win the doubles point in most of its matches on its way to a 2-5 start to the season.

But recently, the Panthers have changed the narrative regarding the doubles point and have taken it more often in their matches.

Since the 2-5 start, the Panthers have gone 6-4 in their last 10 matches to improve to 8-9, while also starting 2-0 in conference play with a 4-3 victory over Jacksonville State Friday and a 6-1 win over Southern Illinois Edwardsville Tuesday.

In those last 10 matches, the Panthers have won the doubles point five times and won all five matches when they won the point.

In both matches against Jacksonville State and Southern Illinois Edwardsville, Eastern won the doubles point.

Freshman Claire Martin, who clinched the victory against Jacksonville State for Eastern by winning her singles match in a 3-3 tie, said helping her team win in a conference match felt great.

Junior Abby Carpenter, who won her singles match against Southern Illinois Edwardsville in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1, said having the 2-0 start in conference will give the team more confidence going forward into the rest of the OVC schedule.

Now on Friday, the Panthers have the chance to extend their winning streak and undefeated conference start to the season to three wins against Eastern Kentucky.

In the current OVC standings, Eastern is tied for first place with Austin Peay, Murray State and Eastern Kentucky.

The Colonels have a similar overall record to the Panthers as well, with a 7-8 season record.

The only common opponent Eastern shares with Eastern Kentucky is Indiana University.

The Colonels lost to Indiana 5-2, and the Panthers lost to Indiana 4-0 after three of the singles matches went unfinished after Indiana got the necessary four points to win.

The Colonels’  first conference win came against the Tennessee-Martin in a 7-0 win on March 17. Their next win came just a day later against Southeast Missouri in a 6-1 victory.

Eastern Kentucky has Kristina Lagoda, who was named the OVC Women’s Tennis Player of the Week Wednesday morning.

In four matches last week, including matches against Stetson and Western Kentucky, Lagoda went undefeated in the four singles matches.

Against Stetson, Tennessee-Martin and Southeast Missouri, she won in straight sets. Lagoda then won in three sets against her Western Kentucky opponent.

Lagoda also combined with teammate Viktorija Demcenkova to go 3-1 in doubles matches last week.

With the four-match win streak, Lagoda is now 8-6 on the season for singles matches.

Eastern’s match Friday in Richmond, Ky. will start early at 10 a.m.

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