Story by Sarah Combs, Staff writer
The women’s tennis team split the weekend 1-1 with a win against Eastern Illinois 4-3 but lost momentum on Saturday against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 7-0. The Racers are now 2-2 in conference play.
With a competitive schedule, the Racers face the top six opponents in the conference in the first seven matches preparing them for the season.
Partners Erin Patton and Haily Morgan took the No. 1 court for doubles play but were defeated 6-4, followed by partners senior from Mississauga, Ontario Megan Blue and freshman from Esbjerg, Denmark Amina Hadzic in the No. 2 doubles position 6-1. The Racers haven’t been able to clinch a win without the security of a doubles point this year, but Head Coach Jorge Caetano said this weekend changed that.
The Racers made up for lost time in the singles. Blue defeated her opponent 1-6, 6-2, 6-2; Hadzic won early 6-3, 6-2; freshman from Dinard, France Jeanne Masson responded to adversity with 0-6, 6-3, 6-0; and junior from Hamburg, Germany Alina Schibol secured the win after her match 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.
“They were very confident in the match,” said Caetano. “They just played hard and were able to win four matches in singles.”
The Racers fell in their match against SIUE 7-0.
Patton and Morgan opened doubles, losing 6-3, and partners Masson and Schibol lost 7-5, losing the doubles point for the second day in a row.
The Racers weren’t able to pull out the win without the doubles point as SIUE swept through the singles 6-0. This is the third time in a row that the Racers have lost a succeeding game after a win, and which could be attributed to their young team.
The Racers look forward to having shorter, more intense practices preparing for five games in nine days. Caetano said the team will focus on doubles and earning the reassurance of the doubles point for the matches. They also intend to adjust their approach on doubles and have fun.