Women’s tennis team gets two big wins at home


Sean Hastings

Sophomore Emily Pugachevsky hits a forehand back to her Belmont opponent in her singles match Friday at the Darling Courts. Pugachevsky won 6-4, 6-4 to help the Panthers to a 5-2 win over the Bruins.

Dillan Schorfheide, Women's Tennis Reporter

Even with April Fool’s Day a day away, the women’s tennis team was not joking around this weekend and won both of its home matches on Friday and Saturday.

With two important conference wins over Belmont (6-12, 2-4) and Tennessee State (12-6, 1-4), Eastern (10-10, 4-1) was able to go into Easter Sunday with a great feeling and a bounce-back weekend after a 7-0 shutout at the hands of Eastern Kentucky on March 23.

Eastern’s 5-2 victory over Belmont Friday and its 7-0 shutout over Tennessee State Saturday have put the Panthers in a top-four position in OVC standings (tied third with Austin Peay behind Murray State and Eastern Kentucky).

Belmont’s match for Eastern was the first true home match for the Panthers, after the first match scheduled to be played on the Darling Courts, March 20 against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, was moved to Terre Haute, Ind. due to weather.

Eastern started its match against Belmont by winning the doubles point.

At the No. 3 doubles, freshman Claire Martin and junior Srishti Slaria started their match with a 3-0 lead in the set, then after a comeback attempt from Belmont’s Sarah Brackin and Mical Johnson, Martin and Slaria finished with a strong 7-5 win.

At No. 1 doubles, senior Grace Summers and sophomore Stella Cliffe started their match opposite of Martin and Slaria: Summers and Cliffe trailed before coming back to win 6-4. Freshman Karla Contreras and sophomore Emily Pugachevsky lost 6-1.

The Panthers quickly pushed their lead to 3-0 from straight set victories in singles matches by Martin and Cliffe.

Cliffe won 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 singles, and Martin won at No. 6 singles 6-3, 6-4.

Pugachevsky clinched Eastern’s victory with 6-4, 6-4 wins at No. 4 singles by giving Eastern its fourth point.

Summers gave her team its fifth point with her 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win at No. 2 singles, which is also her 53rd singles win of her Eastern career. That gave her third place on the all-time wins list.

Summers defeated Tennessee State’s Aarushi Kakkar at No. 2 doubles on Saturday for her 54th career singles victory at Eastern, which made her tied for second on the all-time singles wins list with Sandra Sasidharan.

Summers and Cliffe, and Slaria and Martin both won their doubles again to give Eastern the doubles point on Saturday. Martin was the only Panther who needed a third set but won 7-6, 6-4, 10-8.

The Panthers’ next matches are Friday against Murray State and Saturday against Austin Peay.

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