Touliatios excited to get better going forward

Cody Delmendo, Staff Reporter

Freshman tennis player Preston Touliatos of Birmingham, Ala. has been playing tennis since he was 12.

Touliatos, a pre-medicine major, was a member of the tennis team at Oak Mountain High School and finished with an undefeated 13-0 mark at No. 1 singles.

Eastern men’s tennis coach Eric Stark said he noticed Touliatos’ development this season.

“I like the growth from Preston,” Stark said.

That’s the first thing the coach said about Touliatos, after this past weekend’s tennis matches against Valparaiso and Michigan State.

The Alabama native enjoys any kind of woodworking projects. Touliatos also likes to spend time outdoors.

“That’s why I love Alabama,” Touliatos said. “It never gets cold as it does here.”

His mother, Rebecca Treadwell, played tennis at Samford University, which is in his hometown.

“My mom’s side of the family all played college tennis,” Touliatos said. “I was around the sport, just never got involved in it until later on.”

He said he always wanted to be a college athlete but never realized he had the opportunity until he was 16 at Oak Mountain.

Touliatos has been part of each doubles win that Eastern has recorded early on this season.

The Panthers have struggled in doubles so far this season landing a 2-16 record their first six games.

Junior Robert Skolik and Touliatos have provided the two doubles wins for the Panthers.

The No. 1 duo for the Panthers defeated the No. 1 doubles squads at Ball State and Michigan State. The No. 76 ranked player in the nation, Gijs Linders, is on the No.1 doubles pair for the Spartans.

Touliatos said Skolik was one of his role models on the team that he looks up to the most. He said it helps their chemistry on the tennis court.

“We have similar playing styles so he is one person I go to a lot,” Touliatos said. “All the upperclassmen on the team are very good for me to see because they are all very smart and helpful.”

“Michigan State beat the 14th ranked team in the nation a few weeks ago and I thought we were aggressive and the better team out there,” Stark said.

Touliatos said Stark contributed to the development in his game. He said he only hopes to get better.

“He’s helped me with some elements, which includes the mental side of my game too,” Touliatos said.

Skolik and Touliatos will look to keep improving as doubles partners this weekend when Eastern takes on in state rival Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.


Cody Delmendo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].