April 15, 2013

Hedberg Attempts to Tie School Record as Season Ends Friday

Eliminated from postseason contention, Eastern hosts Portland State at noon

Sophomore Moira Hedberg and a quartet of seniors will be the focal point this Friday (April 19) when the Eastern Washington University women’s tennis team hosts Portland State in the final match of the 2013 season for the Eagles.

The match begins at noon on the EWU Outdoor Tennis Courts, or indoors at Thorpe Fieldhouse in case of inclement weather. Hedberg will be attempting to tie the single season school record for victories, while seniors Kelsey Knight, Rocio Norena, Chelsea Patton and Ryann Warner play in the final matches of their EWU careers.

“I'm excited about this Friday's match,” said Eastern head coach Dustin Hinson. “Even though we can't make the conference tourney, it is the last match for our seniors and Moira has a chance to break the school record for singles wins.  Both are very exciting opportunities.”

Now 13-8 on the season -- all at No. 1 singles -- Hedberg is one victory away from the single season school record of 14 victories set by Kasey Knox in 2007. Hedberg is 8-1 in the league at No. 1 singles this season, and the Oxnard, Calif., native has not lost a conference match since Feb. 8 against then-nationally ranked Sacramento State.

Most likely, Hedberg will attempt to set the record against Portland State’s Mandy Mallen (8-12 overall, 6-7 at No. 1) or Marina Todd (4-14, 0-3 at No. 1).

“I could really go on and on about Moira and her successes and accomplishments this season,” said Hinson. “She's just one of those gifted athletes who has the combination of tenacity and talent that every coach seeks in their players. I am really looking forward to working with Moira for two more years -- I don't think this is the last record she will be in a position to set.”

Eastern is now 6-15 overall, and 3-6 in Big Sky Conference play, but has been eliminated from contention for one of six spots in the Big Sky Conference Tournament. The Eagles could finish in a tie for sixth in the league race, but three-way and four-way tiebreakers all go against the Eagles.

The top six teams earn a bid to the 2013 Big Sky Conference Championships, held April 26-28 at the Gold River Racquet Club in Sacramento, Calif. Until falling 4-3 last Friday to Montana State, Eastern was in prime position for its first postseason appearance since 2009. Eastern’s men have already clinched a berth, and will participate the same days in Sacramento.

The trio of Knight, Patton and Warner have left their marks on Eastern’s program with a collective total of 76 singles victories and 63 doubles wins, with Norena adding seven in singles and eight in doubles. Knight has played mostly at No. 4 singles and is 7-11 this season, while Warner has earned a 7-10 mark this season playing primarily at No. 5 singles. Patton is 3-18 this season while playing at Nos. 2 and 3, and Norena is 0-6 at Nos. 5 and 6.

“I know our seniors will want to go out there and bring home the final victory in their college careers,” said Hinson. “They've worked very hard this season and I'm proud of their accomplishments.”

 

2013 Senior Class

Kelsey Knight

5-5

Sr.

2L*

Folsom, Calif. / Folsom HS '08

Rocio Norena

5-4

Sr.

2L

Madrid, Spain / Paraiso Sagrados Corazones '09

Chelsea Patton

5-6

Sr.

3L

Boise, Idaho / Boise HS '09

Ryann Warner

5-5

Sr.

3L

Colorado Springs, Colo. / Pine Creek HS '09

 

More Women’s Tennis Notes

  • Sophomore Moira Hedberg continued her winning ways with an unbeaten weekend in both singles and doubles. On Sunday in a non-conference 4-3 loss against Seattle, she picked up her fourth-straight victory and seventh in her last eight matches with a straight-sets win. Hedberg also combined with senior Chelsea Patton for a victory at No. 1 doubles, improving their record to 8-5 on the season. On Friday, in a 4-3 loss to Montana State, Hedberg lost the first set at No. 1 singles, but rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory. She and Patton also combined for an 8-5 win at No. 1 doubles.
  • Dustin Hinson on Hedberg: “What I truly love most about Moira is her ability to go out in every match and fight for the victory, even when she's not playing her best or when her shots just don’t seem to go in. She has the ability to find that little glimmer of hope and she uses it to elevate her game and get the win. It’s amazing to watch and truly a pleasure to be a part of that as her coach.  In addition, Moira is an inspiration to her teammates by her play on the court and her infectious attitude and smile off the court.”
  • Eastern’s senior class includes three of the top 11 players in school history in career victories. Ryann Warner ranks seventh with 29 victories, Kelsey Knight is ninth with 24 and Chelsea Patton has 23 wins to rank 11th. In addition, senior Rocio Norena has seven career singles victories. Sophomore Moira Hedberg already has 22 career victories, and should eventually challenge the school record of 42 set by Rachel Berger from 2006-09. In doubles competition, Patton has recorded 28 victories, Knight has 27 and Norena and Warner each have eight. Knight is fourth in school history with the 14 career victories she had with former doubles partner Caitlin Bampton. In addition, Patton should win her fourth Big Sky Conference All-Academic award in 2013. Knight, who earned All-Big Sky honorable mention honors in 2010, should be honored on the All-Academic squad for a third time. Knight was sidelined in the 2008-09 season and again in 2010-11 with knee injuries.
  • Dustin Hinson on the Senior Class: “Outside of their efforts on the court, I know the relationships they've built with one another these past four years will last a lifetime. Working hard together as a team towards the same goal has a way of forming bonds that are unrivaled in everyday life and I know these girls have that. I'm proud of them as individuals and I'm excited to see them jump off into their lives outside of college tennis. They are all winners and I know they will experience many more great successes in life.”
  • The women’s tennis team spent a lot of time this season trying to find just the right doubles pairings. The team has used 13 different combinations in doubles throughout the year. The most consistency has been at the No. 1 position, and as a result, EWU has a 12-8 record at that spot. Sophomore Moira Hedberg and senior Chelsea Patton have combined to pick up eight of those wins, while Hedberg and sophomore Chrissy Uriarte teamed up for the other four. In each of the six team wins this year, EWU has started the match by winning the doubles point. In all 15 of its losses, the Eags have given up the coveted point.|
  • Eastern entered the 2013 season with six returning letterwinners, two returning squad members, two returning redshirts and just 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.
 

Current Big Sky Conference Standings (through matches of as of April 14, 2013)

 

School

Big Sky

Overall

Sacramento State *^

10-0

11-13

Montana *

7-1

12-7

Northern Arizona *

7-2

15-9

Northern Colorado *

7-3

12-7

Southern Utah

4-3

9-6

Montana State

4-4

5-10

Eastern Washington

3-6

6-15

Idaho State

2-6

5-12

Weber State

2-6

6-15

Portland State

2-7

11-12

North Dakota

0-10

3-16

*Clinched a spot in the Big Sky Conference Tournament. ^Clinched the regular season title.

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