Women’s tennis ready to start season with busy weekend

Bailey Scoggins, Women's Tennis Reporter

The Eastern women’s tennis team will open its season on the road against Alcorn State Friday, with a busy weekend of more matches later Friday, Saturday and Sunday following. 

The Panthers will also play against LSU Alexandria Friday, after facing Alcorn State. Then on Saturday, they will compete against Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State. They will then end the weekend playing against Grambling State Sunday.  

The team is eager to start the season and is going into it with confidence and excitement, and junior Rachel Papavasilopoulos is one of the players prepared for competition.  

“I am really excited about the season as we have a ton of freshman that show a lot of potential,” she said.  

She also added that she is most excited about getting to compete with such hardworking, enthusiastic girls by her side.  

Christine Gouws is also eager to compete with her teammates, but she is nervous to see how she performs in her first season.  

“The team is at a great place, all of us are really close and all really excited and ready for the season,” Gouws said. “I am very confident that we will compete well and achieve our goals.” 

Gouws also added that the coaches are excited and are keeping the energy high and really pushing the team in practices.  

Lauren Ellis, a freshman, complimented what Papavasilopoulos and Gouws said. 

“It is going to be nice going down south and playing schools that we don’t typically play, and just getting a preview of what we need to work on this season,” Ellis said.  

Ellis believes that the team’s strongest quality this upcoming season is that they are like a family.  

“We can count on each other on and off the court, and we can always rely on one another to always be there,” she said.  

On top of that, Ellis added that the spring season will allow for the team to play more as a whole.  

“In the fall, we were primarily individually competing,” she said. “This spring is all as a team, and it is a whole different feeling to play with your team by your side.” 

Like Gouws, Ellis mentioned that the coaches are helpful in helping the team grow.  

“They have high hope for both teams, but they just want to see us progress every match we play,” she said.  

The women’s tennis team defeated Alcorn State early Friday morning, 4-0.