Jan. 27, 2009
The Eastern Washington University women’s tennis team takes on Seattle University in the Emerald City at noon on Friday (Jan. 30) in its third match of 2009.
The Eagles are 1-1 after falling to Air Force and defeating Lewis-Clark State in a pair of 5-2 contests on Jan. 16 and 17, respectively.
Friday’s match will be Seattle’s first home contest since 2002. The Redhawks claimed a 4-3 road win over Big Sky Conference-member Portland State on Jan. 18 to open their season, the team’s first since 2002.
The contest will also help EWU prepare for a busy week to follow, which will see the Eagles play at local rival Gonzaga and open its Big Sky season against No. 58 Sacramento State in their first home match of the season.
EWU is in the midst of an impressive turnaround, having won 26 matches since the beginning of the 2006 season. By comparison, the 2001-05 teams combined for just eight victories. In Big Sky Conference contests, Eastern has gone 8-7 the last two years after going 6-43 from 2000-06.
Also, the Eagles claimed their first postseason victory, 4-0 over Montana in the Big Sky quarterfinals, at the end of last year, its first since 1994. The victory snapped a 29-match postseason losing streak for the Eagles.
The 10 wins earned by the 2008 squad were the most by an Eagle team since the 1993 team went 10-8. That also marks the last time Eastern has posted a winning record, something this year’s squad has set as a goal.
Eastern returns three of its six letterwinners from that team and welcomes five newcomers to the 2009 squad. The returning letterwinners include Rachel Berger, Marie Demerath and Amanda Mankovits.
Berger has 34 career victories, the third-highest total in Eastern history.
Mankovits is in sixth place on the EWU career wins chart with 27, while Demerath is just behind with 25 victories.
The two have also attained 11 doubles wins when teamed up with each other, tied for seventh on that list.
Top-Notch Schedule for Eagles
The Eagles take on top competition in 2009, as a pair of nationally-ranked teams is on the slate. These include No. 58 Sacramento State and 44th-ranked Washington State.
The Eagles play host to the Hornets in both teams’ initial Big Sky Conference match of 2009 on Feb. 8, while Eastern will pay a visit to the Palouse and WSU on April 9.
Also, the Eagle players are scheduled to take on three singles opponents ranked nationally, as well as one nationally-ranked doubles team.
The singles players include No. 58 Katrina Zheltova of Sacramento State, 119th-ranked Cougar Ekaterina Kamendova and No. 124 Elisabeth Fournier, also of Washington State.
Aileen Tsan and Gayane Sarkisian of Sacramento State comprise the 54th-ranked doubles team.