Women’s tennis splits two matches during weekend

By Tyler Davis

The SIU women’s tennis team lost to Eastern Illinois University Friday, marking the first time in the teams’s history the Salukis fell to the Panthers, but recovered Saturday in its first win of the season at Austin Peay State University.

The women’s team dropped the match 4-3 against EIU, and won against Austin Peay, 6-1. Coach Audra Anderson said the team’s weekend performance was disappointing and cited complacency as a possible reason for the loss to Eastern.

“I don’t know if our girls felt that they were entitled to winning or they thought it would be a walk through, because we normally do beat them (EIU),” Anderson said. “Eastern was very, very aggressive and [Friday], they were better.”

Advertisement

Junior Natasha Tomishima defeated Panthers’ No. 1 player, Janelle Prisner 6-1, 6-0, to pick up her first singles’ victory of the season. Freshman Meagan Monaghan won her singles match 6-0, 6-2, and freshman Polina

Dozortseva was victorious as well, winning 6-1, 6-2 respectively.

While EIU and SIU traded victories in singles, tying 3-3, it was doubles play that decided the winner. EIU took doubles 2-1, with Monaghan and senior Anita Lee winning the lone doubles match for SIU.

On Saturday, during the team’s visit to Clarksville, Tenn., Anderson said the team played much better against Austin Peay after the disappointing loss to EIU.

“From that match to this match, was a world of difference,” Anderson said. “We did very, very well; doubles was a lot stronger even though we still lost at No. 1.”

The loss for the No. 1 doubles team of Tomishima and senior Korey Love dropped the tandem to 0-4 on the season, just one semester removed from a Missouri Valley Conference Doubles Championship in the fall.

Tomishima and Love said they are already working on a solution to their slow start.

Advertisement

“We know what we have been doing wrong, so that’s good,” Tomishima said. “We just have to make some small adjustments.”

Love said watching the film of Saturday’s match has given the duo some insight into their problems.

“We watched some footage of our match, so I think that there are just some easy things that could be fixed,” Love said. “We need to get to playing a little bit better; we need to move our feet a little bit more. I think we’ll be fine.”

Even with the loss by Tomishima and Love, the Salukis still took doubles play, 2-1. Monaghan and Lee won their match 6-2 while Dozortseva and junior Ariadna Cairo Baza won 6-1.

The win for Monaghan was her third of the weekend. She also took her singles match in a nail biter, 7-6, 6-7, 12-10, marking an undefeated weekend for the freshman from Denver.

Her singles match against Austin Peay’s No. 2 player, junior Ornella Di Salvo, was the highlight of her weekend. Monaghan and Di Savlo’s match had tiebreakers for each set.

“Her match couldn’t have been any closer,”

Anderson said. “She fought back from many match points down. I think she also learned a little lesson about handling pressure.”

Monaghan said her success came from her staying within her style of play, and playing towards her strengths. She said she was also a little self-critical about how she reacted in the close match.

“I stayed true to myself, playing the ball cross-court and keeping the ball cross-court and deep,” Monaghan said. “I did handle [the pressure] today, but I definitely need to work on breathing through the pressure because that’s always important to do, and sometimes I don’t.”

The team takes the court Saturday for a home match against Chicago State University. Last season. SIU took down the Cougars in Chicago, 6-1.

Tyler Davis can be reached at [email protected], @tdavis_de on Twitter

or 536-3311 ext. 282. 

Advertisement