Women’s tennis season ends in semi-finals loss

Dillan Schorfheide, Women's Tennis Reporter

 

The furthest Eastern’s women’s tennis team advanced in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament over the weekend was to the semifinals, where it suffered a 4-0 shutout at the hands of Eastern Kentucky.

The No. 5 Panthers were the lower-seeded team in both of their matches. Friday, the Panthers defeated No. 4 Jacksonville State 4-2, and Saturday they lost to the Colonels, who were the No. 1 seed.

Going into its first match Friday, Eastern had a different lineup planned from the last time it faced Jacksonville State.

Freshman Rachel Papavasilopoulos came back from injury as she did not play the first time against the Gamecocks, so by adding her to the lineup, all of the matchups were different for both teams in the singles part of the match.

“I think it did help having everyone be bumped down a spot with Rachel playing at (No.) 1,” senior Grace Summers said.

Eastern took the doubles point to get ahead in the match, with sophomore Stella Cliffe and Summers winning their match 6-4. Junior Srishti Slaria and freshman Claire Martin secured the point with a 6-2 win over their doubles opponents.

Martin lost in the singles portion 6-2, 6-2, and Papavasilopoulos also lost in three sets, 1-6, 6-2, 4-6.

Cliffe, who coach Samuel Kercheval said did not play her best the first time against the Gamecocks, won her singles match handily in a straight-set 6-2, 6-1 victory. Summers won her match in similar fashion, with a 6-1, 6-1 victory.

But sophomore Emily Pugachevsky secured the fourth point and the victory for Eastern, winning a close three-set match 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. She was the last singles match to finish.

Then on Saturday, Eastern Kentucky overwhelmed Eastern. 

The Colonels won both doubles matches needed for the point, while also leading the third one before it was stopped.

In the singles portion, Eastern Kentucky defeated Martin, Cliffe and Papavasilopoulos in straight sets to get the needed fourth point for the win.

Pugachevsky and Summers took their opponents into the third set before their matches were stopped.

Including the tournament, Eastern finished the spring season at an even 13-13, with a 9-0 home record, a 3-12 away record and a 1-1 neutral site record. Eastern also finished the season 6-3 in regular season conference play.

Summers is the only player on the team set to graduate this spring.

“It is a bitter sweet feeling being done with playing my last college match,” Summers said. “It is sad being done, but I am happy with how I played and am ready to graduate and do other things.”

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