Panthers sweep weekend, earn 4th straight win


File Photo

Eastern junior Shelby Anderson returns a ball in a practice this fall at the Darling Courts. The women’s tennis team is 7-4 this season.

Blake Faith, Women's Tennis Reporter

The Eastern women’s tennis team dominated opponents this weekend, securing two 7-0 victories against Millikin University and North Central College to extend its win streak to four.

“As a team, we never go into matches thinking of past results or streaks to maintain,” senior Abby Carpenter said. “We enter every match with a fresh attitude and with the mindset to do everything in our power to win in that day.”

Doubles play has been an important emphasis for the team this season, since winning those matches gives the team a point. The Panthers (7-4) started off this weekend with three straight doubles wins all in 6-0 sets against Millikin (3-11).

In singles play against Millikin, the Panthers all won their matches. Junior Shelby Anderson won at the No. 5 singles slot with set scores of 6-0 and 6-1.

Sophomores Claire Martin and Karla Contreras won both of their matches at the No. 4 and No. 6 slots by set scores of 6-0.

“The matches this weekend gave us chances to work on things which will benefit us in the future,” Martin said.

Sophomore Rachel Papavasilopoulos, senior Srishti Slaria and Carpenter all won at the No. 1 through 3 slots.

“Last weekend, we went out there and took care of business,” Carpenter said. “For myself individually, I want to focus on keeping the speed on all my shots.”

The Panthers began their doubles play against North Central College (8-4) in the same way winning all three doubles matches and beginning the meet off with one point.

In singles play, Martin began with two 6-0 sets to win at the No. 4 singles slot. Slaria and Papavasilopoulos also both took two 6-0 set wins at the No. 2 and 1 singles slots.

“I’m proud of everyone’s results the last few weeks. We’ve all been working really hard, and to see it pay off is a great feeling,” Papavasilopoulos said. “I honestly can’t take any negatives away from our performance this weekend; we all did our best both on the men’s and women’s side.”

The Panthers will wrap up non-conference play against Chicago State Friday and the University of Detroit Mercy Saturday.

“I am happy with the way I have been competing and fighting to win every match possible and look forward for the upcoming weekend,” Carpenter said.

Eastern will begin play Friday at 2 p.m. against Chicago State.

“We went in this weekend wanting to win. We had a good weekend previously, and we wanted to keep the streak going,” Martin said. “I think we were all able to capitalize on our opportunities. These past four matches have been good confidence boosters, especially since we have conference coming up soon.”

Chicago State is 2-2 so far this season, with wins against Northern Illinois University and Omaha.

The University of Detroit Mercy is 5-3 this season, including an impressive 4-3 victory over St. Bonaventure and a commanding 7-0 victory over Findlay.

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