Eastern women’s tennis team posts 8 total wins in final meet


Dillan Schorfheide

Eastern junior Shelby Anderson returns a ball in a practice at the Darling Courts on Oct. 14. The Panthers collected eight total wins in their final meet this weekend at Western Michigan.

Blake Faith, Women's Tennis Reporter

The Eastern women’s tennis team finished its fall portion of the season competing in the Western Michigan Fall Invite. The team began its season with huge momentum, and the team did not let this weekend’s results change that.

“I felt we all fought hard, and the competition from the other team was the toughest we’ve seen this fall,” senior Abby Carpenter said.

During the weekend of competition, the Panthers posted four singles wins and four doubles wins in action against Western Michigan, Milwaukee and Oakland.

Sophomore Rachel Papavasilopoulos won two of her three singles matches at the event. She opened with a win over Mayya Perova of Milwaukee in round one. In round two Papavasilopoulos picked up another win over Alexander Bella of Milwaukee.

 In her third round match, Papavasilopoulos lost in straight sets to Ava Theilman of Oakland.
Senior Srishti Slaria won her first round match over Darya Maltseva of Oakland. Slaria would lose her next two matches against Thielman of Oakland and Perova of Milwaukee.

Senior Abby Carpenter won her opening round match against Alexandra Whall of Oakland.  Carpenter would then lose her next two matches to Agata Jurczak  and  Nikki Milner of Milwaukee.

“Individually I want to work on my self-confidence this offseason as well as my fitness this offseason,” Carpenter said. “I want to work hard these next couple months to ensure that I am competition ready when spring season comes around.”

In doubles play Papavasilopoulos teamed with Slaria, winning in the first and second rounds. Their first round win was against Thielman and Maltseva of Western Michigan.

Junior Shelby Anderson and sophomore Claire Martin teamed to win a first-round doubles match over Nicole Clarke and Nikki Milner of Milwaukee. They would later lose their second round match against Alexandra Belle and Perova from Milwaukee, as well as their third round match against Gabriela Slavova and Jeryn Jack of Western Michigan.

“I think we learned that we need to go into the tournament believing we can win matches and underestimate our own abilities,” Martin said. “I would have liked to have won more matches this weekend, but everything is a work in progress, and by January the team and I will be where we need to be.”

Despite losing their first round matchup, the pair of Carpenter and Karla Contreras would win their second round doubles match against  Loren Nelson and Jurczak Milwaukee. The pair would then lose their third round against Taylor Smith and Elizabeth Trupp of Western Michigan.

“I think our team had a great fall season, I am proud of myself and my team as a whole,” Carpenter said. “I think we can move forward from our fall results and be a big threat to other teams this spring.”

The women’s tennis team’s season goal is to win the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. This offseason will be crucial for their goal to continue the momentum this fall season has had. 

The Eastern Illinois Women’s tennis team will resume their season January 19th at Olivet Nazarene in Bourbonnais, Ill.

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