Women’s Tennis Falters in Conference Debut
Hedberg wins at No. 1, but rest of team struggles against Northern Colorado
The Eastern Washington University women's tennis team did not get the result it was looking for in its 2012 Big Sky Conference opener. The Eagles fell to Northern Colorado, 6-1, on Sunday (Feb. 5) at the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse in Cheney, Wash.
"Our energy level was not where it needed to be from the get go," said first-year head coach Mykala Hedberg. "We started out flat in doubles, and in college tennis that doubles point is huge - it will often dictate the rest of the match."
At No. 1 doubles, freshmen Moira Hedberg and Chrissy Uriarte played a competitive match against UNC's Stephanie Catlin and Elizabeth Tapia, but the young Eagle duo could not get it done, as they fell, 8-6.
Eastern also lost at No. 2 and 3 doubles, both by a score of 8-2.
Hedberg was able to turn it around in singles though, as she triumphed at No. 1, 6-4, 6-2.
"Moira played great," said Hedberg. "As a freshman playing No. 1 in her first conference match, she handled the pressure really well."
Junior Chelsea Patton also had a commendable performance at No. 3, but was just edged out by UNC's Adriana Nieto, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). In the second set, Patton fought off five match points to force the tiebreaker.
"Chelsea worked her butt off," said Hedberg. "She did a great job competing, but unfortunately came out on the losing end of a really close match."
After suffering a season-ending injury during the first month of the 2011 campaign, sophomore Kelsey Knight made her return to the tennis courts. Knight played at No. 2 singles for EWU, but fell in her first match back to Tapia, 6-1, 6-2.
Eastern dropped its remaining three matches at No. 4, 5 and 6 also in straight sets.
The Eagles will travel to Boise, Idaho, for their next two duels against Boise State and Idaho. Eastern will play the Broncos Friday (Feb. 10) at 2 p.m., followed by a match against the Vandals on Saturday (Feb. 11) at 1 p.m.
Northern Colorado 6, Eastern Washington 1
02/05/12 at Cheney, Wash. (Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse)
1. HEDBERG, Moira (EWU-W) def. WHATELEY, Jennifer (UNC) 6-4, 6-2
2. TAPIA, Elizabeth (UNC) def. KNIGHT, Kelsey (EWU-W) 6-1, 6-2
3. NIETO, Adriana (UNC) def. PATTON, Chelsea (EWU-W) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
4. BUCHANAN, Jennifer (UNC) def. URIARTE, Chrissy (EWU-W) 6-2, 6-3
5. CATLIN, Stephanie (UNC) def. WARNER, Ryann (EWU-W) 6-2, 6-1
6. HOOLAHAN, Chrissie (UNC) def. DIAMANTI, Nefeli (EWU-W) 6-2, 6-2
1. CATLIN, Stephanie/TAPIA, Elizabeth (UNC) def. HEDBERG, Moira/URIARTE, Chrissy (EWU-W) 8-6
2. WHATELEY, Jennifer/NIETO, Adriana (UNC) def. WARNER, Ryann/NORENA, Rocio (EWU-W) 8-2
3. HOOLAHAN, Chrissie/BUCHANAN, Jennifer (UNC) def. PATTON, Chelsea/KNIGHT, Kelsey (EWU-W) 8-2
Northern Colorado 1-2
Eastern Washington 0-3