Men’s tennis team splits the weekend


Jason Howell

Sophomore Trent Reiman defeated Belmont’s Adam Rudowski 6-2, 6-4 in singles play on April 1 at the Darling Courts. Reiman defeated Morehead State’s Enrique Samudio 6-2. 6-4 in singles play on Saturday in Morehead, Ky.

Tyler McCluskey, Staff Reporter

The men’s tennis team finished their season on a high note- winning 4-3 over Morehead State. Snapping their six-match losing streak. The night before the Panthers fell to Eastern Kentucky 6-1.

The Panthers finished their season with a record of 4-15 and an Ohio Valley Conference record of 2-7.

The Panthers started off their match with Morehead State (6-11) strong with the doubles point win. Sophomores Grant and Trent Reiman defeated Ognjen Sunjevaric and Nick Mercer 6-0. Senior Ryan Henderson and sophomore Jared Woodson beat Enrique Samudio and Garrett Mandrell 6-4. Seniors Robert Skolik and Rui Silva went unfinished against Gabriel Ruiz and Ritchie Kruunenberg.

After losing six matches this season by the score of 4-3, coach Sam Kercheval said that it was only fitting to get 4-3 win in the final match of the year.

“I’m extremely proud of my guys for fighting all the way through the year. They never stopped working hard and trying to get better even after a lot of close losses,” Kercheval said. “So to get the win on the final match is just proof that they kept going all the way through the season.”

Leading the way for the Panthers in singles play was Henderson. Henderson’s match went down to the final set and ended up pulling away the victory and the Panther win. Henderson defeated Ruiz 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.

“It was tied 3-3 coming down to Ryan’s match so he was definitely the decider. He got down 1-2 in the third set but managed to take the next two games to regain the lead.” Kercheval said. “Ryan played such a smart game to get it to hold and stretch the lead to 4-2.”

Kercheval said that he knew Henderson would win his match because of the way he played.

“He is too smart a player to have let it slip at that point. It was a great moment for him to go out as a senior,” Kercheval said.

Grant took away a victory, beating Samudio 6-2, 6-4. Freshman Ognjen Jevtic defeated Mandrell 6-2, 6-2.

Skolik lost 7-5, 6-4 to Kruunenberg. Trent lost to Sunjevaric 6-1, 6-0. Silva lost 6-2, 6-3 to Mercer.

For the match against Eastern Kentucky, the Panthers only had one singles win, which came from Skolik. Skolik defeated Ramon van Flymen 7-5, 6-2 at the No.1 spot.

“Rob did what he had all year and beat a tough player by being steady and sticking to his game,” Kercheval said.

Jevtic took his match to three sets against Florian Graskamp but fell 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (17-15).

“(Jevtic) actually had match points in that match but he spent the entire third set match breaker cramping which made things tough,” Kercheval said. “He did well to fight but we came up short.”

Henderson lost 6-2, 6-0 to Alex Alvaro. Grant lost 6-4, 6-3 to Guillem Sanchis. Silva was defeated by Sebastian Mueller 7-5, 6-4. Trent lost to Diogo Soares 6-4, 6-1.

For doubles, the Reiman brothers went unfinished. Skolik and Silva lost 6-2 against Alvasro and Mueller. Jevtic and Henderson lost 6-2 to Diego Asis and Sanchis.

“We played pretty well actually in doubles but got beat by better doubles teams, simple as that,” Kercheval said.

Despite how the year went, Kercheval, in his first year as head coach, said that he is proud of the guys on the team.

“They worked hard to improve going through a lot in previous years. New coach, new system, for the seniors they had three coaches in four years,” Kercheval said. “There is a lot to adjust to and figure out but everyone did well to take steps towards building this program.”

Kercheval said that this year the team took great strides to improve the program from last season, even with the same record.

“I can’t thank my players enough, especially Ryan (Henderson), Rui (Silva), and Rob (Skolik).” Kercheval said. “Those three are great tennis players and even better people that are going on to great things.”


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