Women’s tennis team ready for Eastern Alumni Match

Blake Faith, Women's Tennis Reporter

The Eastern women’s tennis team has had a good start to their season at 20-8; this weekend though, the players will be able to relax just a little bit during the Eastern Illinois Alumni Match.

“They’re always super fun and relaxing,” Rachel Papavasilopoulos said. “It’s just a fun day to play some tennis and hang out with the alumni. It’ll definitely be a great day, and I can’t wait.”

This weekend is a chance for the current players on the team to meet players who they might have played with in their careers or in other generations, as well as catch up with alumni who they have played in the last few years.

Emily Pugachevsky said she is excited for the matches because the current players get to know alumni that they do not know and see recent members of the team.

“I definitely look forward to this weekend, because it’s always a great time when alumni come visit,” Pugachevsky said. “It’s actually one of my favorite weekends of the year.”

Claire Martin had a similar thought to Pugachevsky.

“I’m very excited to play matches with the alumni this weekend,” Martin said. “It’s always a great experience to meet more people as well as hear stories from former generations about what their experiences were like when they were on team.”

Although this weekend is laid back, there will also be some competition mixed in.

“It’s a laid back event, but it’s still a time to be competitive,” Martin said. “A lot of the alumni who come back are recent graduates who want to play competitive matches with their former teammates or current members of the team.”

Shelby Anderson had similar thoughts to Martin and said she is very excited for the matches.

“The matches are still competitive, as everyone is or was an athlete at the D1 level,” Anderson said. “Everything you do, you want to win. The matches are very competitive, social and very fun as everyone gets to know each other.”

The team shows evidence that team unity and learning from their past generation players is important to themselves and the program moving forward.

“We get to meet great people who walked the same path that we are walking now,” Karla Contreras said. “Although we are all in different stages of life, tennis and being Panthers is what brings us together.”

The Alumni Match is Saturday at the Darling Courts. 

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