April 17, 2011

Eagles Edged by Portland State, 5-2

Patton has perfect day with victories in both doubles and singles

Despite home-court advantage, the Eastern Washington University women's tennis team could not come up with a win in its final Big Sky outing of the 2011 season, as the Vikings of Portland State topped Eastern 5-2 on Saturday (April 16) at the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse in Cheney, Wash.

EWU finished the Big Sky season at 1-7. Eastern dropped to 5-17 overall on the year, but still has one non-conference match remaining on Tuesday (April 19) against Idaho.

Although the team suffered an unfavorable result, sophomore Chelsea Patton had one of her best showings of the season against PSU. The Boise, Idaho native won both her doubles and singles matches on Saturday.

Patton and partner Helon Ricks came up with a big win at No. 2 doubles when they outlasted Nayanatara Vadali and Marina Todd in a tiebreaker, 8-7 (7-4).

Patton carried that momentum into singles, as she downed PSU's Caitlin Stocking at No. 5 in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.

"It was great to see Chelsea get her game back," said EWU associate head coach Dale Silha. "She has had some ups and downs this season because of injury, but she played a very solid match today. She has showed a lot of strength here at the end of the season."

Sophomore Rocio Norena was able to collect Eastern's second point of the day when she beat Todd at No. 6 singles, also in straight sets (6-3, 6-3).

"I was pleased with the Rocio's resilience today," applauded Silha. "She wasn't having her best day, but she stayed focused and did what it took to win."

Sophomore Ryann Warner lost a heartbreaking three-set match at No. 3 singles. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native dropped her first set 6-3, but fought hard for a 7-5 victory in the second. The third set went to a tiebreaker, but Vadali had the slight edge, winning the set 7-6 (7-5).

Judy Liening, Eastern's only senior on the squad this year, also lost a three setter at No. 2 singles. Liening dominated her opponent in the first set, 6-0, but she could not maintain the fire in the subsequent two, as she fell to PSU's Anya Dalkin, 6-2, 6-2.

Junior Nefeli Diamanti fell at No. 1 singles, 6-2, 6-1, while Ricks lost to Marti Pellicano at No. 4, 6-4, 6-4.

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