Top Salukis face unexpected setbacks

By Symone Woolridge

 

During the weekend the Salukis traveled out of state with only four athletes aboard.

The Salukis competed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association regional championship games in Norman, Okla. comprised of National Collegiate Athletic Association student-athletes from Division I, II, junior and community colleges.

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On the second day of the four-day tournament, the rain pelted down the streets of Oklahoma, making it impossible to play outside.

Friday morning the Salukis were anticipating outside doubles play, until the unexpected rain. They were forced to compete inside, making this the second time inside this season.

Freshman Meagan Monaghan, junior Natasha Tomishima, and seniors Anita Lee and Korey Love were the only Salukis to leave Carbondale. With only half of the SIU athletes competing, the women took home four wins overall.

Lee went 2-2 in singles matches, while Tomishima went 1-1 in doubles with her teammate, Love. Lately, Tomishima has been battling against her body.

Due to the contagious disease chickenpox, Tomishima’s doctor said it would take two months to sustain her normal energy level.

She has been practicing and playing with the Salukis, but the effects of the chickenpox are easy to recognize in her tennis game. In long singles competitions, Tomishima has been short of breath and unable to play the same as she would healthy.

Tomishima said her recovery process has been fairly slow. Since she will not be competing in matches for a few months, her goal is to relax her body until next year.

“Sometimes schoolwork and being an athlete takes a huge toll on your body,” Tomishima said. “I just want to have time to relax and give my body time to be healthy again.”

Monaghan, who happened to be the only freshman in attendance, accompanied Tomishima. As a first-year college athlete, she has been pushing herself to become a better competitor and team player. Monaghan went 1-2 overall in singles competition, defeating Alex Clark from the University of Missouri in the qualifying round.

Monaghan said she is doing well, but often criticizes herself.

“It’s all a learning experience right now,” she said. “I’m still fairly new and I’m still getting used to how SIU women’s tennis is played.”

Coach Audra Anderson said the women played solid matches, but could not gain momentum in the pace of the game.

“We just couldn’t get the returns back in some of our doubles matches,” Anderson said. “The other teams were returning hard and it was just getting us into a lot of trouble.”

This weekend the Salukis will wrap up their season until February. The remaining tennis athletes who did not travel to Oklahoma will head to Jonesboro, Ark. to compete in the three-day Arkansas State Tournament.

“It’s going to be tougher because we are taking our bottom players, but we want them to get out there,” Anderson said. “We want them to get hard matches; it will push them to their limit.”

Symone Woolridge can be reached at [email protected] 

or 536-3311 ext. 269.

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