Eastern women’s tennis team tops Cougars 4-3 on road


Dillan Schorfheide

Eastern sophomore Claire Martin returns a ball in a meet Saturday against Jacksonville State last Friday at the Darling Courts. Eastern beat Southern Illinois Edwardsville Tuesday on the road.

Blake Faith, Women's softball reporter

Headed into a Tuesday afternoon matchup between Eastern’s women’s tennis team and Southern Illinois Edwardsville, both teams had two things in common. Both teams were 0-1 in conference play and both suffered defeat by Jacksonville State to begin conference play. 

Eastern’s women’s tennis team evened their conference play at 1-1, defeating Southern Illinois Edwardsville 4-3. 

Doubles play has been a huge focus since the fall, because if the team can win that point it is an early momentum spark going into singles play. The Panthers going into the match had not won a doubles point since March 2 against North Central College.

The Panthers would begin doubles play with a win with number one doubles pair of sophomore Rachel Papavasilopoulos and senior Srishti Slaria against Lara Tupper and Ann-Christine Link in a 6-2 set. 

In the number two doubles match, the Cougars’ pair of Callaghan Adams and Maria Thibault would even the score, defeating sophomore Claire Martin and junior Shelby Anderson 6-4. 

At the number three singles slot, the Panthers’ pair of sophomore Karla Contreras and senior Abby Carpenter would claw their way to a 7-6 win over Alina Munteanu and Raillane Kamdem, securing the doubles point for the Panthers.

The Panthers would start singles play losing the first two matches. Anderson would lose at the number six singles slot against Maria Thibault in two sets of 6-3 and 6-0. Carpenter would lose at the number three slot against the Cougars Adams in two sets 6-2 and 6-4. 

The Panthers would win their next two matches of the meet in the number one singles slot, Papavasilopoulos would win her match against Tupper in two sets 6-3 and 6-4. At the number four singles slot Martin would defeat Raillane Kamdem in two sets 6-3 and 6-4, putting the Panthers up 3-2. 

In the number five singles slot Contreras lost in her first set 7-6 and then would lose in her second set 6-4 against Link. With that result the Cougars would tie the Panthers at 3-3.

At the number two singles slot senior Srishti Slaria would fight hard, competing in three sets, and she ultimately won her match, securing the Panthers’ first conference win of the season.

Currently the Panthers are fifth in the OVC Conference standings. Eastern will have ten days to prepare before they travel to Nashville, Tennessee to play Belmont University, who are currently sixth in the conference standings. The match will be Friday April 5.

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