Patton outlasts opponent in three to record lone Eagle victory in match
Meeting for the second time this season, the Eastern Washington University women's tennis team unfortunately suffered the same result against the Bulldogs of Gonzaga University. Eastern fell to the familiar rival, 6-1 on Wednesday (April 6) at the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse in Cheney, Wash. Eastern also lost a 6-1 match to the Zags on Jan. 26 in Spokane.
The Eagles were unable to snap a 11-match losing skid, as the team fell to 5-15 on the season. Conversely, Gonzaga won its sixth-straight match to even its overall record to 9-9. EWU will now return to conference action with a match this Saturday (April 9) against Northern Arizona in Flagstaff.
Highlighting the match on Wednesday was sophomore Chelsea Patton, who had an impressive come-from-behind victory at No. 5 singles. Patton lost her first set 6-3 and was down four games to two in the second, but the Boise, Idaho native dug deep to win 15 of the next 22 games to take the match in three (3-6, 7-5, 10-6).
"Chelsea showed a lot of fight today," applauded EWU associate head coach Dale Silha. "This win was huge for her because she has battled some nagging injuries throughout the season, and has been working hard to get back on track. She had to work hard for this win, but she really did a great job. This should be a big confidence boost for her heading into the final two conference matches of the year."
Sophomore Ryann Warner also endured a three-set match, but unfortunately, she was on the losing end of this extended affiar. Warner won the first set 6-3, but was edged by GU's Kristian Zauerein the second and third sets, 7-5, 1-0 (11-9).
Junior Nefeli Diamanti lost in the top spot to Rika Mehndiratta, 6-2, 6-2, and senior Judy Liening, who was the only Eagle to get a win in the first meeting with the Zags, fell at No. 2, 6-3, 6-4. Freshman Helon Ricks was bested by Clare Dodge at No. 4 singles, 6-4, 6-1.
Sophomore Rocio Norena, who has become a consistent member of Eastern's "top six" dropped a tough match to Jackie Tabb at No. 6, 6-3, 6-2.
"Even though the result was the same, I thought we played a lot tougher against Gonzaga this time around," said Silha. "That shows we have really improved throughout the season despite what our record may say."