With momentum from first win, Eagles take on Idaho State and Weber State in crucial conference weekend
Eastern at Idaho State
Friday, Feb. 15 | 2 p.m. PST
Reed Gym | Pocatello, Idaho
Eastern at Weber State
Saturday, Feb. 16 | 12 p.m. PST
Ogden Athletic Club | Ogden, Utah
Its last time on the court, the Eastern Washington University women’s tennis team celebrated its first win of the 2013 season, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
After facing four nationally-ranked opponents in its first five matches of the year, the Eagles dominated Lewis-Clark State for win No. 1, but more importantly, the team gained confidence and momentum heading into a big weekend of Big Sky action.
The Eagles will be on the road to face Idaho State and Weber State - two teams that are expected to challenge the Eagles for a postseason bid.
The Eagles play ISU on Friday (Feb. 15) at 2 p.m. in Pocatello, before taking on WSU on Saturday (Feb. 16) at 1 p.m. in Ogden.
“We are excited to move into the part of our schedule with teams that we know we can compete against,” said EWU interim head coach Dustin Hinson. “I feel like we have progressed in every match, and we are really happy with where we are going into conference. The matches this weekend are really important for us because Idaho State and Weber State are teams we know we can and need to beat in order to make it to the tournament.”
In the 2013 Big Sky preseason coaches’ poll, EWU and Weber State garnered the exact same number of votes (44) to come in tied for sixth. Idaho State was right on their heels with 37 tallies.
This year’s conference tournament, held April 26-28 in Sacramento, Calif., will include the top six teams from the regular season.
Eastern has missed the cut the last three years when the tournament was only the top four teams, and so have the Bengals and Wildcats.
The Eagles split last year in its home meetings against ISU and WSU. In an abbreviated match, Eastern swept the Bengals, 4-0. But the following day against Weber State, EWU suffered a tough 4-3 defeat. Eastern barely lost the doubles point with losses at No. 1 and 2, and three of the six singles matches had tiebreakers, but the Wildcats proved to have the edge.
Eastern has in fact won eight-consecutive matches against the Bengals, and four of the last six versus Weber State.
Eagle News & Notes
- Four of the first five opponents on EWU's 2013 schedule were ranked in the top 75 nationally. EWU also played Lewis-Clark State, which was ranked seventh in the NAIA. The Eagles beat the Warriors, 5-2, for their first win in the 2013 campaign.
- Sophomore Moira Hedberg is leading the Eagles this season, as the only player with two singles victories. Hedberg, a 2012 All-Big Sky second-team selection, defeated Maja Mladenovic of Portland at No. 1 , 6-1, 2-6, 6-3, and bested Dorothy Chong of Lewis-Clark State, 6-2, 6-3.
- Sophomore Alexis Filliol, a sophomore-transfer from Northern Colorado, earned her first win as an Eagle against Oregon - a team ranked 66th in the nation. Playing at No. 6 singles, Filliol beat Lena Macomson, 6-4, 6-0.
- Eastern entered the 2013 season with six returning letterwinners, two returning squad members, two returning redshirts and one newcomer.
- New to the EWU roster in 2013 is interim head coach, Dustin Hinson. Hinson joined the Eagle staff in January. He is a native of Moscow, Idaho and played four years of collegiate tennis for the Vandals.
- Seniors Ryann Warner, Chelsea Patton and Kelsey Knight are among the top 15 in school history for career singles wins. Ryan currently ranks 10th in the record book with 22, Patton is 12th with 20 and Knight is 13th with 17. Knight and Warner have also etched their names in the single-season record book, each with 11 wins in the 2010 season, which ranks as the fourth-most in school history.