Men’s tennis team set to take on UIC

Tyler McCluskey, Staff Reporter

The Eastern men’s tennis team was successful last weekend, winning the two matches they had against Western Illinois and Saint Francis that put their record to 2-3 on the year.

Saturday, they will take on the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Senior Ryan Henderson was awarded with the Ohio Valley conference co-player of the week, sharing the award with Tennessee State’s Shashank Nautiyal. Henderson has won his last four matches in singles play and went perfect this weekend.

“Ryan being named OVC player of the week is a great honor,” coach Sam Kercheval said. “He has been consistent from the beginning of the season and that has showed up in his play.”

The Panthers saw improvement over the last couple of matches and it shows on the court. They are taking steps in the right direction.

Sweeping Western Illinois 7-0, senior Robert Skolik lead the way at the No. 1 spot by defeating Nikola Pavolic 6-2, 6-3. Henderson beat Surya Sawhney 6-0, 6-0. Senior Rui Silva won in three sets 6-2, 3-6, 10-4. Sophomore Grant Reiman won over Nolan Jones 6-1,6-0 while fellow sophomore Jared Woodson won 6-1,6-0 over Kerry Nozum. Freshman Ognjen Jevtic defeated Jacob Sanders 6-1, 6-0.

For doubles play, Silva and Skolik defeated Sawhney and Pavlovic 6-3. Henderson and Jevtic beat Smith and Jones 6-1. Reiman and Woodson won 6-1 over Sanders and Smith.

For the USF matchup on Sunday, the results were nearly identical with the Panthers walking away with the win 7-2.

Henderson walked away with a victory over Luka Dordevic 6-2, 6-2. Skolik won his third straight singles match against Boris Peshev 6-2, 6-2. Silva was defeated in three sets, losing to Lucas Navaro 2-6, 7-6 (8-4), 1-0 (10-3). Reiman beat Michael Hasler 6-1, 6-0. Jevtic was victorious over Anders Sandberg 6-2, 6-2. Woodson walked away with a victory of Jonathan Pacheco 6-1, 6-2.

For doubles against USF, Henderson and Jevtic finished their sweep for the weekend beating Dordevic and Navarro 8-4. Silva and Skolik won 8-5 over Sandberg and Peshev. Reiman and Woodson lost 8-3 to Hasler and Randall.

“Our success last weekend showed us that the way we are preparing and practicing is the right way,” Kercheval said.

The Panthers came away with some confidence this weekend and are preparing for their next match against the University of Illinois-Chicago.

“It’s good to be confident and we got some tough matches coming up so it’s good to have the confidence early in the season not having to look for it at the end of the season,” Skolik said.

To get prepared for this weekend match, the Panthers are working to keep progressing to achieve their goals.

“The guys are starting to get comfortable competing and making better decisions under pressure,” Kercheval said.

For UIC, the Flames come off a double header facing Northern Illinois and Lewis University. The Flames will be set to take on Marquette the day before they face the Panthers.

UIC defeated NIU 4-3 and also beat Lewis 5-2.

For the Flames, Carl Hedstrom defeated Carlos Manzanas 6-2, 6-4. Andy Page lost to Tom Hjertonsson 7-6, 6-4. Mitch Granger lost in three sets to Georg Lundkvist 3-6, 6-4, 10-4. Christopher Cole beat Austin Russell 6-2, 6-1. Marcelo Dib won over Erich Schuette 6-3, 6-2. Max Cederkall lost to Kevin Daun 6-3, 6-3.

The Flames however swept NIU in doubles with Cole and Granger defeating Daun and Lundkvist 6-3. Dib and Hedstrom beat Manzanas and Hjertonsson 6-3.

The Flames continued against Lewis, sweeping doubles. Cole and Granger won 6-3 over Ransom Braaten and Alan Brashinsky. Dib and Hedstrom defeated Ben Kasbeer and Mate Srdanovic 6-2. Page and Cederkall beat Chandler Stimpert and Brendan Peterson 6-3.

Hedstrom lost his singles match against Braschinsky 6-4, 7-5. Page lost to Srdanovix 6-4, 6-1. Granger won over Braaten 7-6, 6-3. Cole defeated Stimpert 6-3, 6-3. Cederkall won 6-0, 6-1 against Peterson. Dib deafeat Rami Arabi 6-2, 6-3.

The Panthers take on the Flames Saturday in Chicago.


Tyler McCluskey can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]