Eagles Have Strong Showing in Three-Day Home Event
Diamanti wins Flight C consolation, while Hedberg and Warner advance to semifinals of doubles main draw
The Eastern Washington University women's tennis team wrapped up play from its own EWU Fall Women's Classic, held Friday (Sept. 30) - Sunday (Oct. 2) at the EWU Sports and Recreation Center courts in Cheney, Wash.
The three-day tournament featured more than 50 athletes from familiar schools that included Gonzaga, Washington State, Seattle U, Montana and Montana State.
Although Eastern did not have a ton of its players advance far in the main draws, the Eagles dominated the consolation brackets at the first home event of the season. Senior Nefeli Diamanti won the consolation of Flight C with victories over Montana State and Montana.
In the first round, Diamanti took down MSU's No. 4 Gabi Villegas, 7-5, 6-1. Diamanti had a bye in the second round and then advanced through the semis after her opponent withdrew due to injury. In the final round, the Athens, Greece native rallied from a one-set deficit to beat Montana's Lauren Gibson, 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (6).
Freshman Kristen Hibbs made it through to the finals of the Flight D consolation, as did junior Ryann Warner in Flight B. Warner got there after celebrating a big win over Idaho's No. 4 Beatriz Flores. Warner took the first set from Flores, 6-4, but then surrendered the second by the same score. In the match-breaker, Ryann prevailed, 1-0 (4).
Eastern's highly-touted 2011 recruit, Moira Hedberg, had an impressive showing in her first home event, as she advanced to the semis of the main draws in both singles and doubles. In singles action, Hedberg skipped through first round when her opponent withdrew due to injury, but in the quarters, she won a big match against Gonzaga's Katie Edwards in two competitive sets, 7-6 (2), 6-4.
In doubles, Hedberg and Warner won back-to-back matches against Gonzaga and Seattle to advance to the semis. The duo beat GU's Bjerken and Lantaa, 8-3, before edging Seattle's Lucas and Weissman, 9-7. Hedberg and Warner eventually bowed out in the semis to the eventual doubles champion from Idaho by a score of 8-1.
The Eagles witnessed a few other notable wins, including freshman Chrissy Uriarte, who took down Montana State's No. 3 Char Hjalmarsson in the first round of the Flight A consolation. It was a competitive battle, but Uriarte triumphed by a score of 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (1).
Junior Chelsea Patton also won a three-setter against Gonzaga's Sophie Lantta in the opening round of Flight B. Like Uriarte, Patton dropped her first set, but was able to rally back for a 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (6) victory.
The Eagles will have a couple weeks off from competition before they head to Eugene, Ore., for the Oregon Invitational Oct. 21-23.