Women’s Tennis triumphs despite weather conditions

By Symone Woolridge

On a breezy Sunday morning the Salukis awaited the start of their first home tournament, but rain covered the tennis courts and prevented the Salukis from competing at the allotted time.

During the Fall Classic tournament the Salukis competed against Eastern Illinois and Arkansas State. The Salukis finished with the best record in singles competition at 12-2 and the best record in doubles at 6-1.

The first match of the day was set to begin at 10 a.m. until the weather decided otherwise. The matches were postponed until noon when the Salukis would compete in doubles competitions at the indoor tennis facility. Once the rain came to an end, the SIU women took over University Courts.

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However, the Salukis did not let the weather interfere as they completed the day with an overall record of 18-3.

Coach Audra Anderson said they handled the Fall Classic matches differently than they usually do.

“We never play with no (advantage) scoring, but we did that yesterday,” Anderson said. “Everybody was ready for the matches and they came out very strong.”

No-advantage scoring is when the first competitor to earn four points, wins the game.

“No one knew when we were going to play, where we were going to play or which matches we were going to play,” Anderson said. “We just had to stay ready.”

Freshman Meagan Monaghan from Denver said she is used to unexpected weather on game days.

“Coming from Colorado, I am pretty used to bad weather,” Monaghan said. “During the winter there are a lot of times where we have to pause or take breaks during the games.”

Not only did the morning consist of cloudy skies, the temperature also dropped below 70 degrees. Monaghan said one of the biggest issues Sunday was the cold weather.

“It was really cold, but we all stuck through it and handled it really well,” she said. “We went to the two courts inside the gym building and even the other teams didn’t complain about moving.”

Monaghan went undefeated in both singles and doubles competition, ending her night 4-0. This is her second match of the season and she is excited about her performance thus far.

Sept. 20 through September 22, the Salukis competed in a University of Nevada, Las Vegas tournament in Las Vegas. The women ended their weekend with tough losses to national ranked teams.

Anderson said her team has showed growth since the tournament, and only wants to see them get better.

“Although the freshman are still learning, they have been progressing,” she said. “The returners looked very solid and you could tell they’ve learned from their past experiences and are just hungry for more.”

Senior Natasha Tomishima completed in her first game of the season finishing 3-1. Tomishima was unable to compete in the Las Vegas tournament due to an illness. But she began to feel the extent of her illness during her singles Fall Classic matches.

“Since I’m getting over a sickness I got tired very easily,” she said. “But after I kept competing, I felt like I was slowly getting better.”

Tomishima said as much as she wanted to play at the rate she usually does, her body did not let her.

“It’s kind of hard because that type of weather makes you tired,” she said. “With my body already wearing out I feel like the weather didn’t help but I tried my hardest.”

The Salukis will travel to St. Louis Friday where they will compete in the Missouri Valley Conference Individual Championships.

“We have a lot of other things to work on to get us where I would like to be,” Anderson said. “But the Las Vegas tournament was just a week ago, and I have already seen the progression, so we are slowly getting better.”

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