By ASHLEY OWENS
Eastern’s women’s tennis team brought home a final regular season victory April 11 after taking on the Eastern Illinois University Panthers. With the win, the Colonels also earned a share of the OVC regular season title.
Eastern was also in Illinois on April 10 for a victory against the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Cougars to end the regular season with a 14-7 record and 9-1 record in OVC play.
Southern Illinois 3
The Colonels close 4-3 victory started out seemingly shaky as Eastern fell behind the Cougars (11-10, 7-3 OVC) by three. Senior Amandine Faouzi sparked a comeback, however, with her No. 1 singles victory.
Faouzi was behind in the third set but fought back in a tiebreaker to win Eastern’s first point. Fellow seniors Marcela Jimenez (No. 4) and Melissa Gerritsen (No. 5) won back-to-back in straight sets to tie the overall match three-all.
Freshman Raquel Montalvo pulled through in No. 6 singles in straight sets as well to give the Colonels the final and winning point.
Eastern Illinois 2
The Colonels won four of the six singles matches in straight sets in the 5-2 win against the Panthers (12-6, 7-3 OVC).
Eastern started the match off on a positive note with the doubles point before also dominating in singles play. Faouzi won her sixth consecutive singles match at No. 1 singles and was named OVC Tennis Player of the Week. Fellow senior Kristina Labeja only dropped one game in No. 2 singles for a 6-0, 6-1 victory.
Gerritsen (No. 4) and Montalvo (No. 5) each won their matches in straight sets as well. Montalvo’s win put her at a five-match winning streak.
After the final regular season win, the Colonels now enter the OVC Tournament in the No. 2 seed. Eastern will play in the semifinals April 18 against either No. 3 Morehead State University or No. 6 University of Tennessee at Martin in Nashville.