The Eastern Washington University women's tennis team will take on local rival Gonzaga at the Spokane Racquet Club at 6 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 20).
The Eagles will be wrapping up a stretch of four matches in six days after taking 2-of-3 contests in Portland, Ore., over the weekend. That included a 5-2 win over Portland State in the team's Big Sky Conference opener, allowing Eastern Washington to start 1-0 in league play for the second straight year.
Eastern (2-5, 1-0 BSC) also defeated UC Riverside 4-3 and fell to Portland 5-2 that weekend.
"We're coming off a really good weekend, had some good results and are hoping to carry that momentum into our next match," interim head coach Darren Haworth said. "We're expecting a tough match with Gonzaga; they've got a strong team and we're going to have to come out and compete really hard tomorrow."
The Bulldogs have started its campaign with a 2-4 mark after defeating Linfield and Portland State and dropping decisions to San Diego State, Washington, Saint Mary's and Portland.
Last year, the teams each won on the opponent's home court, as Gonzaga claimed a 4-3 win in Cheney on April 5 before the Eagles won 5-2 a week later in Spokane.
"Playing at the Spokane Racquet Club, where Gonzaga usually gets a pretty good crowd, means we are going to have to not let the crowd into our heads and just focus on the match."
The Eagles will get nine days off from competition following their contest with Gonzaga. Eastern returns to action with its second Big Sky Conference contest of the season, a home match with Idaho State (0-2) on March 1.
The Record Books Get Rewritten
Four Eagles are among the top seven on the Eastern Washington career singles wins chart. Kasey Knox is third with 28 victories, while Rachel Berger has 23, good for fourth. In fifth is Kerstyn Dolack (22), while Amanda Mankovits is in seventh (19) and Marie Demerath sits in eighth place with 16 wins.
Top-Notch Schedule for Eagles in 2008
The Eagles are taking on top competition in 2008, as five nationally-ranked squads are on the slate, including four straight right off the bat. In addition to already-played matches with No. 50 Washington State, No. 70 Washington, No. 42 Boise State and No. 67 Utah, Eastern Washington is scheduled to take on 59th-ranked Sacramento State in California's capital city on March 27. The Hornets have won 43 straight conference matches.
Also, three nationally-ranked singles players are scheduled to take on Eagles, as is one doubles squad. No. 91 Ekaterina Burduli of Washington State defeated Kasey Knox, 6-3, 6-2, on Jan. 19, while Bianca Jochimsen of Boise State (No. 81) defeated Sarah Leuenberger, 6-1, 6-3, on Feb. 9.
No. 63 Katrina Zheltova of Sacramento State is scheduled to take an Eagle opponent on March 27.
In doubles play, the 40th-ranked team of Polina Kokoulina and Pichitira Thongdach of Boise State topped Knox and Amanda Mankovits, 8-2, on Feb. 9.