Panthers set for Valparaiso invitational

Parker Valentine, Tennis Reporter

The Eastern men’s tennis team is heading to Indiana this weekend for the Valparaiso Fall Invitational.

This is the second tournament of the Panthers’ fall season; the first came three weeks ago at the River Forest Invitational.

Senior Trent Reiman was an anchor for the Panthers in River Forest.

He not only registered a win in singles competition, he and sophomore partner Freddie O’Brien advanced to the flight championship of their doubles bracket, defeating the Marquette duo of Andre Romanello and Scott Christian.

Freshman Kaisei Kuroki and Logan Charbonneau showcased their talents in River Forest as well. Both freshman earned wins in their debut tourney with the Panthers.

Eastern’s tennis alumni weekend concluded last Saturday. Alums descend upon Charleston to compete against, and enjoy time with current tennis athletes. They did not miss the opportunity to give advice either.

“We are very fortunate to have a supportive and enthusiastic alumni base and there are a core group of former players who keep coming back year after year,” coach Sam Kercheval said.

Play at Valparaiso will begin Saturday at 11 a.m. There will be four other teams in attendance.

Along with Eastern and home team Valparaiso, Wright State, Chicago State and DePaul complete the tournament.

The Panthers competed against three of these teams last spring, the one team they lack familiarity with is DePaul.

Of the teams the Panthers played in the spring, they had the most success against Chicago State.

Current Panthers senior Jared Woodson and sophomore Marko Janjusic both recorded wins against the Cougars.

Those wins did not come without hard work though, both Woodson and Janjusic completed competitive three-set matches before earning victory.

This tournament will be a bit different than previous tournaments. Instead of the traditional randomized seeding and brackets, each team at Valparaiso will go head-to-head in competition.

The one exception at this event will be Chicago State and DePaul, which will team up, due to the fact that both universities will only be sending half its rosters.

Both singles and doubles competition will be played. Kercheval is keeping his lineups a bit under wraps, but did say that the players should expect to be seeded with different doubles partners than last weekend.

One thing Kercheval made clear is that he is looking for progress from his players.

“The expectation this coming weekend at Valparaiso is to see improvement from each of the guys. We’ve had two weeks of practice and will have had another before we start play on Saturday so I expect to see things that we worked on come out in matches,” Kercheval said.

Eastern will have nearly a month off before its next invitatonal.

The Panthers next matches will be at the Illinois State invitational Nov. 3.

Once the Panthers wrap up play at Illinois State in November, they will not play again until 2018 when the spring season gets underway at Indiana for the Panthers first dual match of the year.

Parker Valentine can be reached at 

581-2812 or [email protected].