Eagles Blanked by Utah State

Eagles now 5-6 on the season after falling to Aggies in non-conference match Monday

In its final outing of a three-match road swing, the Eastern Washington University women's tennis team fell to the Aggies of Utah State, 7-0 on Monday (Feb. 21) at the Logan Sports Academy and Racquet Club. The Eagles will return to Cheney with a 5-6 overall record in the 2011 season, and a 1-1 mark in the Big Sky. EWU also played its first league matches of the year over the weekend, as the team beat Idaho State, 4-3 on Feb. 19 and dropped a 5-2 decision to Weber State on Feb. 20.

With its win over EWU, Utah State improved its season record to 4-2. Three of USU's four victories this year have come against Big Sky opponents. The Aggies also topped Idaho State, 7-0 and Portland State, 6-1.

Eastern struggled to find a rhythm in doubles play on Monday, as the Aggies quickly nabbed the first point with 8-1 victories at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Eastern's No. 3 pair of Helon Ricks and sophomore Rocio Norena won a few more games, but could not find a way past USU's Taylor Perry and Julie Tukaufu, who took the match, 8-3.

In singles play, Caitlin Bampton made her first appearance of the season at No. 1, but the junior from Kennewick, Wash., fell to Jaclyn West, 6-1, 6-3. Senior Judy Liening and sophomore Ryann Warner also lost in straight sets at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

Ricks, who was coming off back-to-back singles victories in the Big Sky, played a strong match against USU's Romina Nedakovic. Ricks lost the first set by a narrow 7-5 margin, but was then overpowered in the second, falling 6-0.

Junior Nefeli Diamanti also put up a reputable fight at No. 5 singles, but was topped by Tukuafu, 6-3, 6-4. For the third time this season, Norena earned a "starting" nod, as she played Brianna Harris at No. 6 singles. Harris managed to best Norena in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2.

Eastern will be back in action this Saturday (Feb. 26) when they take on conference foe Montana at the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse in Cheney at 10 a.m. Pacific time.

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