February 24, 2013

Eagles Keep Winning Streak Alive with 7-0 Sweep of Seattle U

After capturing the doubles point in dramatic fashion, Eastern goes on to win fourth-consecutive match

In a match that lasted well into the night on Saturday (Feb. 23) at the Sammamish Club in Issaquah, Wash, the Eastern Washington University women’s tennis team came away with a 7-0 sweep against the Redhawks of Seattle U .

With the win, which was Eastern’s fourth in a row, the Eagles improve to 4-5 on the season. With at least 12 more matches remaining in the 2013 campaign, EWU has already tied the total number of wins from a year ago.

“The team is gaining confidence with each match,” said EWU interim head coach Dustin Hinson. “This success is really a result of everyone believing in their abilities and staying mentally focused. They also really wants to win. They are hungry for it.”

In the past eight meetings with Seattle U, six of them have resulted in a 4-3 decision - three in favor of EWU and three going to the Redhawks. While the score in this one was more lopsided in, the excitement in the mid-season match between the in-state rivals did not disappoint. There were a two three-set matches in singles, and three tiebreakers.

The dual lasted till nearly 11 p.m., but after a strong start in doubles, the Eagles managed to outlast the Redhawks.

Seattle gained an early advantage when EWU’s pair of Chrissy Uriarte and Kelsey Knight dropped their match at No. 2 to Sara Lucas and Lindsey Newman, 8-2. But Eastern’s No. 1 doubles team of reigning Big Sky Player of the Week Moira Hedberg and senior Chelsea Patton evened the score when they took down SU’s top pair, 8-3.

With the doubles point hanging in the balance, sophomore Alexis Filliol and senior Rocio Norena battled Seattle’s Corinne Wurden and Kristen James in a nail-biting match at No. 3.

After several long rallies, Eastern held serve to earn a slim 7-6 advantage in the match. Looking like it was headed for a tiebreaker, Filliol and Norena came up with a big break of Seattle’s serve to win the match, 8-6, and secure the doubles point for their team.

In singles, Hedberg cruised to a 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 1 over Newman, giving the Eagles to 2-0 lead. Knight then extended it to 3-0 when she edged Wurden in a close one at No. 4. The first set of that match went to a tiebreaker, but Knight was able to prevail, 7-6 (7-5). She then finished it off with a 6-3 victory in the second.

Patton provided the match-clinching win at No. 3, which also happened to be her first singles victory of the season. Patton bested Weissmann in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

Playing for the first time this season at No. 2 singles, sophomore Chrissy Uriarte rallied for a big win in her match against SU’s Anna Lambert - one that lasted nearly 2 1/2 hours.

After a 6-1 loss in the opening set, Uriarte charged back for a 6-0 sweep in the second. The decisive third set went to a tiebreaker, but Uriarte dug deep for a 7-6 (6-1) triumph.

Senior Ryann Warner also endured a three-setter at No. 5, that also included a tiebreaker. Warner suffered a tough loss in the first set after she fell to Lucas, 7-6 (8-6), but she was able to turn it around and extend the match with a 6-4 victory in the second set. With Eastern having already won the match, the two played in a matchbreaker to decide a winner. Ryann prevailed, 1-0 (11-9).

Sophomore Alexis Filliol turned had the dominant performance of the night at No. 6, as she downed James in two swift sets, 6-0, 6-2.

Eastern will be back on the East side next weekend, as it plays Gonzaga on Friday (March 1) in Spokane, before a home match against Big Sky rival Northern Colorado on Saturday (March 2) at 10 a.m. at the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse in Cheney.  

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