Women’s tennis has full weekend ahead


Dillan Schorfheide

Karla Contreras returns a hit during the Eastern women’s tennis team’s 4-3 loss to Jacksonville State at the Darling Courts March 22. The match was Eastern’s conference opener and home opener.

Blake Faith, Women's Tennis Reporter

Eastern’s women’s tennis team is fresh off a week of no competition and heading into three matches this weekend.

The opponents are Belmont, Tennessee State and Martin Methodist College. The matches with Belmont and Tennessee State give the Panthers two chances at improving their conference record of 1-1.

Eastern currently sits at fifth place in the OVC. Belmont is currently at third place with a 2-1 conference record, and Tennessee State is in last place with an 0-3 record.

“This weekend is a huge chance for us to move up in the ranks of the conference,” said senior Abby Carpenter. “We all need to go out there, play smart, solid tennis, and not overthink when competing.”

Carpenter is one of the two seniors on the team. In the last two conference matches she has gone 0-2 at the No. 3 singles slot, but Carpenter knows that with it becoming an outdoor season, there are more chances for her to improve and execute in this weekend’s matches.

“I have been making sure to put in the extra time to hit, to work on certain aspects of my game that could be improved,” Carpenter said. “Also, now that we are outside, I have been adding more variety in my game that is an advantage once wind starts becoming a factor.”

In the week off, the team spent a lot of time playing points which the team will implement this weekend. Sophomore Claire Martin credits that, saying it helped her gain confidence and that she will incorporate it and her work on shot selection into this weekend’s matches.

“Mentally I’m going in with a positive attitude and blocking out all negative thoughts,” Martin said. “I hope we can come away with three wins this weekend. These teams are tough, but they’re all beatable. As long as we go into each match believing we can win, it’s ours for the taking.”

In their first conference match against Jacksonville State, the Panthers failed to get the doubles point early, which cost them the victory since they drew even 3-3 in the singles portion.

Against Southern Illinois Edwardsville, though, the Panthers were able to grab the doubles point, which was important for the win as the teams drew even, 3-3, in the singles portion.

Now that the Panthers had a week off playing points, building confidence and overall improvement are what the Panthers hope to implement this weekend in getting doubles and singles points in their matches.

Eastern’s women’s tennis team will begin their three-match weekend Friday in Nashville against Belmont. The meet will begin at 1 p.m. in the Centennial Sportsplex.

“This week of practice is like all others for us,” said tennis director Chris Tolson. “If we are able to (play confidently), we will have a chance to win both matches and put us in a great spot to make the conference tournament.”

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