Daily Egyptian

Tennis duo builds on success

By Brent Meske

Senior Natasha Tomishima and sophomore Meagan Monaghan have great chemistry as a doubles team and this season’s results show it.

“[Tomishima] is like the peanut butter to my jelly,” Monaghan said. “We just work so well together.”

Last season, two women’s tennis players were matched up for doubles and are 8-3 this season.

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They went 2-0 at the Saluki Fall Classic after they started the season 5-2 . Last weekend, they traveled to Tulsa, Okla. for the ITA Regional Championships and finished 1-1.

“Everything is different at the ITA,” coach Audra Anderson said. “The competition is tougher and 1-1 really is not a bad record to have at the tournament.”

Andeson was happy with the results because they beat SIU-Edwardsville’s top team—sophomore Lexi Aranda and junior Sierra Halverson—in the first round.

The duo lost in the second round to freshmen Katarina Adamovic and Vladica Babic of Oklahoma State University, the No. 6 team in the tournament.

Tomishima said they played well against the ranked team, but the result do not show it.

“That was a tough team to beat, but we hung in there,” she said.

Anderson said she paired the two last season because their styles of play are different from each other.

She said Tomishima is an aggressive player who attacks the net with a strong forehand. Monaghan compliments her with a strong backhand and serve, and she is a stronger player on the baseline.

“We try to match doubles up based on their weapons,” Anderson said. “You want someone who has strengths that are the other one’s weakness.”

Tomishima was paired up with Korey Love last season. The duo started the year 2-1 before going 0-5 in the second half.

“They were the top doubles team in the conference last season, but they just seemed to lose everything when we came back in January,” Anderson said. “Our team had more success when they were split up.”

Anderson said Monaghan and Tomishima started to play together half way through last season and finished the year with a 10-7 record.

She said Monaghan would never have been paired up with Tomishima at the beginning of last season because it is hard for a freshman to jump into doubles.

“I am glad Meagan had time to develop as a college player at the beginning of the year,” Andreson said. “It would have been hard for her to start the year in doubles, and I never would have done it. It worked out in the end.”

She said both partners are leaders in their own rights. Monaghan is more vocal and understands strategy, but doesn’t have the same experience level and Tomishima has experience and helps Monaghan to continue learning, she said

“[Monaghan] is the best partner I have ever had,” Tomishima said. “She is aggressive and fun to play with. She is just a fireball out there.”

The duo said they want to be a top team in the conference this year and stressed the importance of winning every match they play.

“Winning the Missouri Valley Conference championship is always a main goal for any team,” Monaghan said. “If we can keep playing well and even learn how to disturb our competitor’s game, we will have more success.”

The last games of the fall season are Nov. 7 to Nov. 9 at the Arkansas State Tournament.

Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected] on Twitter @brentmeskeDE or at 536-3311.

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