With two more Big Sky matches remaining, Eastern is eager to get back on track with a much-needed win over Bulldogs
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The Eastern Washington University women's tennis team will take a short break from Big Sky Conference action with a match against Gonzaga this Wednesday (April 6) at 3 p.m. in Cheney, Wash.
This is the second meeting of the season between the Eagles and Bulldogs. The two teams battled back in January in Spokane, with Gonzaga prevailing in that contest by a 6-1 decision. Despite several close contests in both singles and doubles, senior Judy Liening was the only Eagle to come out a winner, as she outlasted GU's Britta Stime in three sets, 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-7).
Eastern is 5-14 on the season, which includes a 1-5 mark in Big Sky Conference action. The Eags are in the midst of a 10-match losing skid, which they hope to put an end to this Wednesday at home.
Gonzaga is 8-9 on the season and 1-1 in the West Coast Conference. After losing nine of its first 12 matches of the season, GU has come on strong down the stretch, and is currently enjoying a five-match winning streak.
The Bulldogs have seen 15 different opponents thus far in the 2011 campaign, eight of which are teams Eastern has also played or will play in its final three matches of the year. Like Eastern, GU has lost to Montana (5-2), Montana State (4-3) and Washington State (7-0). The Bulldogs did beat Portland (5-2) and Portland State (6-1) in their most recent outings, as well as Seattle twice throughout the season.
Eastern has one player in its starting six with a winning record in 2011. Freshman Helon Ricks is 10-7 on the year, which includes an impressive 5-1 mark in the Big Sky. Besides four players on Sacramento State's squad, Ricks is the only player in the league who has won five matches in conference. Her only loss came last week against the nationally-ranked Hornets. Ricks has earned five victories at No. 5 singles, four at No. 6 and one at No. 4. Senior Judy Liening, junior Caitlin Bampton and sophomore Chelsea Patton have also all won at least five singles matches throughout the season.