Eagles Battle Bobcats For Big Sky Tournament Berth
A victory this weekend at Montana State would send the Eagles to the four-team Big Sky Tournament and set a program record for conference wins in a season
Date - Opponent - Time/Pacific
April 17 – at Montana State – 9 a.m.
By Keenan Bowen, EWU Sports Information
The Eastern Washington University women’s tennis team will match-up with the Bobcats of Montana State this Saturday (April 17) in a very important match for the Eagles. The match will be played in Bozeman, Mont., at the Bobcat Tennis Center beginning at 9 a.m.
A victory is imperative for the Eagles if they want to head to the postseason for the sixth-straight season. Eastern enters the match 10-10 overall on the season and 4-3 in the Big Sky. Montana State enters the match 6-10 overall and 3-3 in the conference with two games remaining.
The Bobcats will play Northern Colorado on Friday (April 16) before clashing with the Eagles. Montana State can still make the tournament even with a loss on Friday, provided they beat the Eagles on Saturday. Sacramento State, Northern Arizona and Montana have already clinched the first three tournament spots.
If the Eagles lose, and Northern Colorado wins its final two matches, there would be a three-way tie between Montana State, Eastern Washington and Northern Colorado at 4-4 in the standings. In this case, none of the three teams would have beaten the top two teams – Sacramento State and Northern Arizona. Northern Colorado would have a win over third-place Montana, while Eastern and Montana State would have both lost to Montana. Northern Colorado would be the No. 4 team in the tournament if this scenario plays out.
Not only can the Eagles make the postseason with a win, but they can also set program records in the process. A victory Saturday would give the Eagles five conference wins, the highest total since Eastern began play in the Big Sky Conference in 1997-98. The Eagles have won four conference matches each of the last three seasons.
Eastern would also finish the season with 11 total wins, the most since the 1988-89 season when that team finished with 11.
Bright Future: Three freshman lead the Eagles in total singles wins this season. Kelsey Knight, Chelsea Patton and Ryann Warner all have 10 singles victories on the season.
Knight, a redshirt freshman from Folsom, Calif., is 10-10 overall on the year and has won nine of her matches on the No. 3 court. She is also 1-0 in the No. 2 slot.
Patton, a true freshman from Boise, Idaho, is also 10-10 overall. Five of her wins have come at No. 4 singles and the other five have come at No. 5 singles. She holds the best conference record on the team at 5-2 and has won her last two matches.
Warner, a true freshman from Colorado Springs, Colo., is 10-9 overall on the season. Seven of her victories have come in the No. 6 slot and has a victory on the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 courts.
Moving on Up: Senior Marie Demerath now has eight singles wins in the 2009-10 dual-match season, surpassing her total wins from last season.
Demerath has 35 career singles victories, which is fourth most all-time in program history. She just surpassed Amanda Mankovits and Sejla Serifovic, who both had 34. Demerath is two victories away from tying Kasey Knox, who finished her career with 37 wins.
Bampton: Caitlin Bampton was awarded the first Big Sky Player of the Week honor of her career for her performances from March 10 to March 16.
Bampton, a sophomore from Kennewick, Wash., went 2-0 at No. 1 singles and doubles to help the Eagles to conference wins over the Weber State Wildcats and Idaho State Bengals.
Bampton won 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 over Keya Jenkins of Weber State and 6-3, 6-1 over Lisel Lewis of Idaho State, both at No. 1 singles. Bampton joined teammate Kelsey Knight to defeat the No. 1 doubles team against both Weber State and Idaho State.
It was the second such honor for the Eagles this season; Marie Demerath was awarded the same honor on Jan. 21.
Improving Doubles: The Eagles doubles play is improving match by match, according to associate head coach Dale Silha.
“Our doubles play is getting better with each match,” said Silha. “We have won the doubles point in each of the four conference matches that we have played."
In nine of the ten Eagle victories this season, Eastern has captured the doubles point. Caitlin Bampton and Kelsey Knight lead the Eagles with a 9-3 record at No. 1 doubles on the year. The duo has won their last three matches.
Competing Nationally: Although Eastern dropped its match against No. 71 Oregon 7-0 on Jan. 23, the Eagles picked up a No. 2 doubles victory and a couple singles players battled to the very end in their respective singles matches.
“We were able to get a significant win against Oregon's No. 2 doubles team,” said associate women’s head coach Dale Silha. “Kelsey Knight at No. 3 singles and Judy Liening at No. 6 singles had extremely close matches against Oregon that could have gone either way.”
First Time for Everything: Eagle freshmen Chelsea Patton, Ryann Warner and Jessie Steele picked up their first singles wins of their career against Lewis-Clark State (Jan. 15) and Whitworth (Jan. 16).
Both Patton and Warner won both of their singles matches to advance to 2-0 on the season, and Steele saw her first action Saturday (Jan. 16) against Whitworth in defeating Stephanie Reardon 4-6, 6-4, 1-0.
Patton teamed up with Caitlin Bampton in both matches to pick up two doubles wins, and Warner matched up with Judy Liening to go 1-1 over the two matches.
Noteworthy Performances: Marie Demerath earned Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors on Jan. 21 for her performance in season-opening matches for the Eagles against Lewis-Clark State College (Jan. 15) and Whitworth University (Jan. 16).
Demerath, a senior from Kenmore, Wash., compiled a 2-0 record in singles play and a 2-0 record in doubles action en route to sweeping 7-0 victories for the Eagles.
On Jan. 15 against Lewis-Clark State as the No. 2 singles player, Demerath defeated Dorothy Chong 6-0, 6-3. She teamed-up with partner Kelsey Knight for an 8-1 doubles victory as well.
Against Whitworth on Jan. 16, Demerath was victorious on the No. 1 singles court against Allie Marshall 6-2, 6-0. Demerath and Knight picked up another doubles victory by an 8-3 score.
This is the second Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honor for Demerath, who was awarded the same honor during the 2006-07 season.
Eastern Tennis -- http://goeags.com/sports/w-tennis/index
Stats & Results -- http://goeags.com/sports/w-tennis/2009-10/statistics/teamstat.htm
Big Sky Conference Tennis -- http://bigskyconf.com/index.aspx?tab=tennis2&path=wten
NCAA Tennis -- http://www.ncaa.com/sports/w-tennis/ncaa-w-tennis-body.html
More Information and Links are Available at: HTTP://GOEAGS.COM
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