(Ben Kleppinger)

By Clayton Ward

Eastern’s women’s tennis opened and looked to be dominant in Ohio Valley Conference play this past week, winning all three matches.With matches like Louisville, Xavier, Kansas and Cincinnati on the non-conference schedule the Colonels had Eastern well prepared for OVC play said Head Coach Rob Oertel.

Wins against Tennessee Tech, Southeast Missouri and Tennessee State make Eastern 3-0 in conference play and extend the Colonels’ team winning streak to four.

“Winning three conference matches what a great start in the confernce, were really excited about our chances this year in the OVC,” said Oertel.

Most recently Eastern won 7-0 against Tennessee State on Friday; the Colonels were never forced into a third set.

Through all six singles matches, and three doubles matches, Eastern gave up only four points against the Tigers. This ended the three-win weekend strong for the Colonels.

Earlier Friday, Eastern walked away with its first win of the day as the Colonels met Southeast Missouri State with a much less lopsided victory.

The win was not spotless, however, as junior Svetlana Pimenova, Eastern’s No. 1, had a disappointing loss after bringing the match to a third and final set losing 10-7.

Both singles matches dropped by Eastern were brought to a third set. Freshman Anouk Foure played for the third in Eastern’s second third set loss, 10-4.

Senior Meredith Giles and junior Jemma Euers were great assets to the team against SEMO, winning two matches each in singles and doubles.

SEMO’s senior twin sisters, Bryce Kristal and Drew Kristal, took the first set of doubles from the Colonels. Maroon madness then took over, winning the next two doubles matches and earning the team point.

The past Thursday, Eastern opened the first game of the OVC women’s tennis season against Tennessee Tech with a victory, 5-2.

Senior Meredith Giles guaranteed a Colonel win after three sets. Giles lost her first set, setting up two comebacks in the next two sets to take the match.

She won six straight games in the second set, after being down 4-0, in order to come away with a win. In the final set, Giles was down 5-2 only to win five straight, ending the set 7-5.

“I think it was really important for her to kick back into a big gear and get some confidence back,” said Oertel.

Eastern will continue play Friday, March 28 at home in the Greg Adams Tennis Center, hosting Eastern Illinois starting at 12 p.m.