EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. --- Undefeated junior Pragati Natraj came up big for the Tigers in a 4-3 win over SIU-Edwardsville Friday afternoon at the SIUE Tennis Courts.
The day began with Ani Popiashvili and Natraj sweeping the Cougars on court three, 6-0, followed by freshman Aarushi Kakkar and Abhilasha Vishwanath clinching the doubles point with a 6-1 win over Lara Tupper and Katherine Lahue leaving the Cougars winless in dual doubles play this spring.
Vishwanath won the first singles match 6-0, 6-1, putting pressure pn the Cougars to try and even out the score. They did so with two singles wins at No. 3 and No. 1. Tied 2-2, Ashia Jones and Natraj pulled through with the final two wins to clinch the Tigers' first OVC victory.
"Good OVC win today beating SIUE," said Natraj. "Starting off strong in doubles gave us a lead and we carried it off well in singles and finished strong."
Big Blue is now 11-5 overall, 1-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference.
The women will join the men in a match at Eastern Illinois Saturday afternoon at the Danville Tennis Center in Danville, Illinois.
1. Lara Tupper (SIUE) def. POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSUW) 6-0, 6-2
2. Raillane Kamdem (SIUE) def. KAKKAR, Aarushi (TSUW) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
3. Ann-Christine Link (SIUE) def. CAGE, Morgan (TSUW) 6-1, 6-1
4. VISHWANATH, A (TSUW) def. Katherine Lahue (SIUE) 6-1, 6-0
5. JONES, Ashia (TSUW) def. Anna Talley (SIUE) 6-0, 6-0
6. NATRAJ, Pragati (TSUW) def. Angel Ikeda (SIUE) 6-0, 6-0
1. Ann-Christine Link/Raillane Kamdem (SIUE) vs. JONES, Ashia/CAGE, Morgan (TSUW) 4-1, unfinished
2. KAKKAR, Aarushi/VISHWANATH, A (TSUW) def. Lara Tupper/Katherine Lahue (SIUE) 6-1
3. NATRAJ, Pragati/POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSUW) def. Anna Talley/Angel Ikeda (SIUE) 6-0
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,3,1,5,6,2)