March 25, 2007
The Eastern Washington University women's tennis team made sure there was no doubt in its Sunday (March 25) contest with host Idaho State, securing wins in every contest played on the windy afternoon to sweep the Bengals, 7-0, and earn its first shutout win over an NCAA Division I opponent since defeating Portland State by identical scores on two occasions in 2001.
More importantly, EWU moved to 4-2 in Big Sky Conference play to clinch its first winning conference record in school history. The previous best league mark for the Eagles came in 1998 (3-3). Eastern Washington (6-9) is just one win away from its highest overall win total since the 1993 team went 10-8. Previous high-water marks since that year came in 2006 (7-13), 1996 (7-15) and 1994 (7-9).
Earning the most dominant doubles win for Eastern was the No. 1 tandem of Rachel Berger and Sayaka Yoshimoto, who defeated Valerie Espinosa and Katherine Zigars, 8-0. What made the commanding win even more impressive was that it was the first contest the two had played together this year. The No. 2 contest saw Kerstyn Dolack and Kasey Knox team up to defeat Stephanie Roldan and Anastasia Sazykina, 8-3, while the third court saw Marie Demerath and Amanda Mankovits topple Sophie Dang and Lisel Lewis, 8-5.
Every singles contest was decided in straight sets with the most dominating performance coming from Demerath on the sixth court, as she outlasted Sazykina, 6-3, 6-1, to earn her fourth straight win. Iliana Petrova ended a seven-match losing streak with a convincing 6-2, 6-3 victory over Espinosa on the second court, while Berger won a clutch first set and threw a shutout in the second for a 7-5, 6-0 defeat of Zigars at No. 4. She has now won three straight.
Knox earned a clutch first set win on her way to a 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 victory in the No. 1 position over Lewis, her fourth in a row, while her doubles teammate, Dolack, prevailed on the third court by 6-2, 6-4 scores over Dang. Mankovits prevailed on court five, 6-1, 7-5, over Roldan.
The win pushed the Eagles into third place in the Big Sky Conference standings. Idaho State dropped to 1-4, 0-2 in Big Sky play with its loss.
The Eagles are in the midst of a six-match 3,137-mile road trip and have impressively won the first three contests of the trip. The trip continues with EWU's final conference match of the season on Tuesday (March 27). First serve for the match with Northern Arizona is slated for 9 a.m. The Lumberjacks will enter the contest with a 3-1 Big Sky record, 8-9 overall. Northern Arizona saw its five-match winning streak come to an end at the hands of Cornell on Friday (March 23) by a 5-2 score. The contest will be NAU's final home match of the season.
Eastern Washington at Idaho State
Eastern Washington 7, Idaho State 0
March 25, 2007, at Pocatello, Idaho
1. Sayaka Yoshimoto/Rachel Berger (EWU) def. Katherine Zigars/Valerie Espinosa (ISU), 8-0
2. Kasey Knox/Kerstyn Dolack (EWU) def. Stephanie Roldan/Anastasia Sazykina (ISU), 8-3
3. Marie Demerath/Amanda Mankovits (EWU) def. Sophie Dang/Lisel Lewis (ISU), 8-5
1. Kasey Knox (EWU) def. Lisel Lewis (ISU), 7-6 (4), 6-2
2. Iliana Petrova (EWU) def. Valerie Espinosa (ISU), 6-2, 6-3
3. Kerstyn Dolack (EWU) def. Sophie Dang (ISU), 6-2, 6-4
4. Rachel Berger (EWU) def. Katherine Zigars (ISU), 7-5, 6-0
5. Amanda Mankovits (EWU) def. Stephanie Roldan (ISU), 6-1, 7-5
6. Marie Demerath (EWU) def. Anastasia Sazykina (ISU), 6-3, 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (4,6,3,2,5,1)