Tennis hosts last chance for OVC

Dillan Schorfheide, Men's Tennis Reporter


The Eastern men’s tennis team will have its last chance for an OVC win this season on Saturday, against the OVC opponent who is the most similar to Eastern.

Currently, the Panthers have an 0-5 record in OVC play.  The Panthers sit in last place in the OVC, with Austin Peay right in front of them.

Eastern has faired well against its OVC opponents, but at times the competition has been too much.

The Panthers were shut out 7-0 by the top three teams in the OVC, Tennessee Tech, Belmont and Eastern Kentucky, who are first, second and third place respectively.

Jacksonville State and Tennessee State did not hold the Panthers scoreless in games where Eastern played well, but they did not get over the last hurdle to win.

This has been the problem the Panthers have had in their OVC contests.

Multiple times, Eastern players have gotten within one point of winning a set or match, but they are not able to get over the last hurdle to get the victory.

Coach Samuel Kercheval said after the two losses last weekend that the next step for the team is to start winning when they put themselves in the position to win.

Eastern will get the chance Saturday to avoid going winless in the OVC this season.

The Austin Peay Governors are 4-11 on the year and 1-3 in the OVC.

While Eastern is on a two-game losing streak, Austin Peay is on a three-game losing streak.

Austin Peay’s lone OVC win this season is a 6-1 victory over Tennessee State, the team that defeated Eastern 5-2 Saturday.

The matchup between the two schools dates back to the late ’90s, with Austin Peay holding a 15-10 series record over Eastern.

Despite the Panthers’ record in the OVC, the team has started playing better late in the season, which is when the OVC play has occurred.

Despite the three 0-7 losses to OVC opponents, the players played well in those matches.

Friday against Belmont and Tennessee State, the Panthers played in close matches and came away with some victories.

Freshman Marko Stefan Janjusic improved his singles record to 9-12, the best on the team, after his win against his TSU opponent.

Junior Grant Reiman was on a 10-match losing skid in singles, but broke out of the slump after defeating TSU’s Tom Parant in straight sets.

Reiman and his duals match partner, freshman Gage Kingsmith, have won three duals matches in a row after going 2-0 over the weekend against Belmont and TSU.

Eastern’s last chance for an OVC win in the regular season is Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Darling Courts on Eastern’s campus.

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