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SIUE Advances to OVC Tournament Finals

SIUE No. 3 doubles team of Lara Tupper and Callaghan Adams (right) shake hands with their opponents after the winning the match 6-3.
SIUE No. 3 doubles team of Lara Tupper and Callaghan Adams (right) shake hands with their opponents after the winning the match 6-3.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – SIUE women's tennis made it one step closer to repeating as Ohio Valley Conference champions Saturday with a 4-2 win over Eastern Illinois at the Centennial Sportsplex.

The Cougars improved to 20-0 for the season, breaking the program's record for wins since making the jump the Division I.

"That was a very good effort today," said SIUE Head Coach Nick Mueller. "We stuck together as a group. We weren't playing how we wanted at times, but we found a way to win."

SIUE, which won Saturday's match that was forced indoors because of rain in Nashville, next will play third-seeded Eastern Kentucky, which upset second-seeded UT Martin 4-3 in the other semifinal match. Sunday's championship match is set for 10 a.m.

Freshman Callaghan Adams providing the clinching point against Eastern Illinois with a come-from-behind 0-6, 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Maria Moshteva at No. 5 singles.

"Four, five and six singles kept battling," said Mueller, "and Callaghan came up with the clincher."

SIUE also collected singles wins from first team All-OVC selections Lexi Aranda and Mia Frogner.

Frogner was the first to clinch a singles point with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Grace Summers at No. 2 singles. Aranda added a key point with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Kelly Iden at No. 1 singles.

EIU, which ended its season with a 14-9 dual match record, recorded wins at No. 3 and 4 singles.

SIUE won the doubles point early. Adams and Lara Tupper defeated Emily Pugachevsky and Srishti Slaria 6-3 at No. 3 doubles. Aranda and Morgan Steffes edged Summers and Kami Stadalnikaite 7-6 (8-6) at No. 2 doubles.

"We need to regroup going into the finals," said Mueller. "There is no doubt this team will lay it on the line tomorrow."

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