Eagles beat Pirates, fall to Wildcats

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Eagles beat Pirates, fall to Wildcats

By Brandon Cline, Sports Editor

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Women’s tennis dropped their first conference match of the season to the Weber State Wildcats, losing, 3-4, in a tightly contested affair at home on Feb. 26.

The Eagles grabbed the doubles point after winning all three doubles sets with relative ease. Though, the Eagles dropped two tight matches to the Wildcats in the first and second singles matches. Sophomore Janaya Smith dropped the first singles match in three sets, 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, while redshirt senior Moira Hedberg lost the second singles match in two tight sets, 6-7 (5), 5-7.

Sophomore Rachel Swindell picked up a win slotted in the third singles position, defeating Weber State’s Sara Parker, 6-4, 7-6 (5). Freshman Faye Worrall had the only other singles match win for the Eagles against the Wildcats, defeating Morgan Dickason, 7-6 (5), 6-1, in the sixth singles spot.

In the fifth singles spot, junior Erin Blessing lost in a three set match, 3-6, 6-2, 3-6, while junior Dani Young lost her match, 4-6, 3-6, to Weber State’s Dominique Beauvais. The Eagles moved to 3-1 in Big Sky play through the month of February, compared to a 1-3 conference record heading into March last season.

“We did really well in doubles as we’ve done all season and carried excellent effort, energy, and fight into the singles matches,” said head coach Dustin Hinson. “At the end of the day, we just didn’t execute as well as we have in the past at key moments in our singles matches.”

The Eagles did pick up a win over the weekend, cruising past the Whitworth Pirates, 7-0, in a non-conference match on Feb. 27. In 12 singles sets, the Eagles dropped just five games to the NCAA Division III school.

Swindell and Worrall picked up their second singles wins of the weekend, winning in the second and fourth singles positions, respectively. Worrall bageled the Pirates’ Anabelle Burns, 6-0, 6-0, while Swindell routed Jennifer Adams, 6-0, 6-1.

Junior Carolina Lopez and freshman Jennifer Lewis both saw action in singles matches against Whitworth, with Lopez winning, 6-1, 6-1, in the fifth singles spot and Lewis recording the Eagles’ second double-bagel of the match in the sixth singles position, winning, 6-0, 6-0.

“It was the most dominant performance top to bottom that we’ve had in my time here at Eastern,” said Hinson. “I was proud of our response to such a tough loss on Friday. There is no give in this team and they won’t let one bump in the road deter them from working towards achieving our goals this season.”

The Eagles improved their overall record to 9-4 with the win, after recording just five wins in the entire 2015 season and three in the 2014 campaign.

The Eagles take on the Idaho State Bengals at home on March 4 at 3 p.m. The Bengals have yet to play a conference match on the season, and are 2-5 in non-conference matches.

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