Women’s tennis team ready for Illinois State Invite


Dillan Schorfheide

Eastern sophomore Karla Contreras returns a ball in practice this fall at the Darling Courts. Contreras played in all 26 matches for the Panthers last season and hopes to be a big contributor again in 2018.

Blake Faith, Women's Tennis Reporter

The Eastern women’s tennis team is looking to build on their success and work hard this weekend at the Illinois State Fall Invitational. 

The team took two singles flights and a doubles flight at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Invite earlier this month.

In preparation for this weekend, the team has been hard at work on gaining more momentum heading into the competition. 

“We have been working almost non-stop on doubles last week, so I really want to start out strong as a team with doubles wins,” said Rachel Papavasilopoulos.  

Claire Martin had a similar thought to Papavasilopoulos on the upcoming weekend.

“This weekend I hope we all go in with positive attitudes,” Martin said. “We have all been putting in effort at practice, and I hope that shows and transfers to our matches, so we can all compete well against the other teams.”

Rachel Papavasilopoulos finished first in her singles flight with a 3-0 record and first in her doubles flight with Claire Martin. This weekend she and the women’s tennis team are hoping to improve as a team and keep the momentum going into the ISU Invite.

“I’m going to trust my game and play each match by point,” said Rachel Papavasilopoulos. “I’m hoping to win some singles and doubles flights again. I’m hoping everyone on my team does the same.”

Emily Pugachevsky also started her season 3-0, winning her singles flight at the SIUE Invite. Pugachevsky is looking to improve on her season, keep achieving positive results and keep the same approach going into this weekend’s invite.

“I always come out there and fight my hardest for every point,” said Pugachevsky. “Obviously we want to win. I do want to win all of my matches. But I do expect some close matches this weekend.”

Claire Martin might have won doubles at the SIUE Invite, but she fell just one win short of winning her singles flight with a 2-1 record. She wants to improve her game and have another chance this weekend to win a singles flight and win doubles.

“This weekend, I want to go in with a positive attitude, play relaxed and compete well by working on different shot patterns and improving my doubles game,” said Martin. “Each match will be a new opportunity, and I want to make the most out of each one.”

 Eastern’s chances for victory at the invite will start Friday and continue to Saturday.

Blake Faith can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]