Looking to get back on winning track, Eastern prepares for three non-conference road matches
The Eastern Washington University women’s tennis team will take a break from Big Sky play this week for a trio of non-conference duals in Idaho.
Eastern (4-7) first heads to Moscow to take on former and future-Big Sky member Idaho on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the Kibbie Dome. The Eagles will then travel to Boise, Idaho, where they will face Boise State on Friday (March 8) and New Mexico on Sunday (March 10).
The Eagles won four matches in a row from Feb. 10 - Feb. 23, but have dropped their two most recent duals against Gonzaga and Northern Colorado. With a little bit of pressure off its shoulders this week with non-conference matches on tap, EWU will look to get back on the winning track.
“This week will be a good opportunity for us to work on getting our confidence back and focus on hitting shots we know we can and really finishing points,” said EWU interim head coach Dustin Hinson.
The Vandals come into this match with a 3-7 record in the 2013 season. After a 0-4 start to the year, Idaho has gone 3-3 in their last six outings.
Idaho used to be a member of the Big Sky Conference from 1963-1996, but since its departure, the two tennis teams have continued to meet at least once in 14 of the last 17 years. Starting in 2014-15, EWU and UI will again compete as conference rivals when Idaho rejoins the Big Sky.
But this year as non-conference foes, EWU will look to snap a long-standing losing streak against the familiar rival from the Palouse. Idaho has won nine-consecutive duals against the Eags. In the most recent 2012 meeting, Idaho earned a 6-1 decision in a match played in Boise. Senior Ryann Warner was the lone Eagle to record a win, as she upended UI’s Alejandro Lozano, 6-4, 6-0.
Women's Tennis Notes
- With a 4-7 record so far in the 2013 campaign, EWU has already tied the total wins earned in the entire 2012 season. In each of its four wins this year, the Eagles have won the doubles point, while also going 6-1 in tiebreakers.
- Sophomore Moira Hedberg is currently riding a six-match winning streak at No. 1 singles, and all six victories have come in straight sets. Hedberg is 3-1 in conference play, while her only four losses on the season have all been against nationally-ranked teams. Earlier this year, Hedberg was selected as the Big Sky Player of the Week on Feb. 19 after a perfect weekend on the road, in which she won both doubles and both singles matches at Idaho State and Weber State. Hedberg is 7-4 overall at No. 1 singles, and 5-5 at No. 1 doubles with partner Chelsea Patton. As a freshman in 2012, Hedberg was selected to the All-Big Sky Second Team.
- Senior Ryann Warner also has a winning record in the 2013 campaign at 4-3. She has a 3-3 record at No. 5 singles, and is 1-0 when playing at No. 6. From Feb. 10 - Feb. 24, Warner won four matches in a row, including three three-setters.
- Seniors Ryann Warner, Chelsea Patton and Kelsey Knight are among the top 10 in school history for career singles wins. Ryan currently ranks eighth in the record book with 25, while Knight is ninth with 22 and Patton 10th with 21. 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.
- Eastern entered the 2013 season with six returning letterwinners, two returning squad members, two returning redshirts and one newcomer. While most of the roster is filled with returners, one new face to the program is interim head coach, Dustin Hinson, who joined the Eagle staff in January 2013. Hinson is a native of Moscow, Idaho and played four years of collegiate tennis for the Vandals.