Eagles Prepare to Face Fierce Competition at UCSB Classic

Eastern heads to Santa Barbara for final tournament of 2010 Fall season

The Eastern Washington University tennis team will send four athletes to the competitive UCSB Classic, held Friday – Sunday (Oct. 8-10) in Santa Barbara, Calif. The event will feature some of the top programs in the nation, including four teams who were ranked in the top 75 in the final ITA poll of the 2009-10 season. The Eagles will face off against players from Brigham Young, Cal Poly, Pepperdine, Arizona, Denver and host-school UC-Santa Barbara.

"This will be the highest level competition we've faced thus far in the season," said EWU associate head coach Dale Silha. "I'm looking forward to seeing the girls challenge themselves by competing against several of the top players in the country."

Pepperdine has two athletes on its roster who were ranked in the top 100 in the ITA preseason rankings, while Arizona also boasts two of the nation's top tennis players heading into the 2010-11 campaign. For Eastern, senior Judy Liening and sophomores Ryann Warner, Chelsea Patton and Kelsey Knight will make the trip to southern California for to compete in the esteemed tournament.

Warner and Liening have both had solid showings in the previous two events of the 2010 fall season, as Warner advanced to the second round of the WSU Cougar Classic, and then beat Anya Dalkin of Big Sky Conference foe Portland State in the consolation round. Liening advanced to the semifinals of the singles B bracket at the EWU/GU Classic after winning back-to-back matches against opponents from Seattle University.

All four Eastern athletes who will be competing in the UCSB Classic have also recorded at least one win in doubles play this year. Most notably, Patton and Knight teamed up for the EWU/GU Classic, and was the only Eagle pair to make it out of the first round, as the duo defeated Steffanie Mortera and Mikaela Peterson of Seattle by a score of 8-5.

Complete draws for the UCSB Classic will be available via www.goeags.com on Thursday (Oct. 7).

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