Men’s tennis falls to 1-7 after being swept

Dillan Schorfheide, Men's Tennis Reporter

Seven: The number of losses the Eastern’s men’s tennis team now has in the spring season so far.

It is also the most common margin (half of their matches) by which Eastern has either lost or won this season, being swept 7-0 by three teams and beating one team 7-0, Eastern’s lone win of the season.

Seven to nothing is the score Eastern had after its match Friday, losing to the Valparaiso Crusaders on the road.

Coming into the match Friday, Valparaiso had a 5-1 record after beating four teams who have at least an even record: the two winning-record teams were Butler, 6-2, and Toledo, 6-5. Valparaiso also played against Wisconsin, 5-1, and lost by one point.

In the match Friday, Eastern, despite being swept, put up a fight and almost got some victories.

Freshman Freddie O’Brien, who has been playing well in the No. 1 spot in the lineup for Eastern, forced a third set against his opponent Friday. He lost 10-7 in the third set.

“Freddie has been doing very well so far this year,” coach Samuel Kercheval said.

“Playing in the top spot is hard for anyone, let alone a true freshman and he has been handling that well. He has definitely improved over the course of those matches too.”

Junior Grant Reiman and freshman Gage Kingsmith also played well, and both nearly forced a third set against their opponents.

In the doubles portion of the match, redshirt senior Jacob Wendell and Grant Reiman lost by two points, 6-4, the closest of the three doubles teams for Eastern.

Throughout the season, the theme for the tennis team has been to work hard and understand what they need to do to win.

“We are a very young team and have a long way to go,” Kercheval said. “If we do the right things day in and day out, the wins will take care of themselves.”

Kercheval continued and said his team does understand what they need to do to win, but they also understand that they need to get better. He said winning is a long process and it takes daily hard work.

Kercheval also said the team’s record is not a reflection of a lack of talent or effort, but that his team has played against a tough schedule.

The tough schedule Eastern has faced includes: Ball State 4-4, Indiana 7-3, University of Illinois at Chicago 3-3 and IUPUI 5-5.

Eastern’s schedule does not get any easier as Friday they travel to Carbondale to face Southern Illinois Carbondale, 3-1.

Eastern will then host St. Joseph’s College, 0-1, in Champaign on Sunday.

Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]