Men’s tennis team hits the road for Valparaiso invite

Parker Valentine, Tennis Reporter

The Eastern men’s tennis team continued its fall season over the weekend. The Panthers were in Indiana for the Valparaiso fall invitational.

The Valparaiso invite consisted of four other universities as well. Those teams included Chicago State, Depaul, Wright State, and the host team Crusaders.

This tournament was a bit different from the Panthers previous fall invitationals. Each team went head to head against the other in the style of spring competition. Traditional fall tournaments consist of a randomized head to head bracket.

The Panthers did not have much success at the invite, but they did register both singles and doubles victories against Wright State.

Senior Trent Reiman has continued a strong fall campaign for the Panthers, the senior picked up wins in both doubles and singles for his second straight tournament.

Reiman defeated Raider freshman William Morton in three sets (7-5, 4-6, 10-4) and earned a doubles victory against Wright State with sophomore partner Freddie O’Brien 7-6.

O’Brien wasn’t the only Panther sophomore to earn victory. Gage Kingsmith defeated raider sophomore Javier Alvarez De La Villa in straight sets (7-5, 6-2).

Kingsmith earned a win in doubles as well. He and partner senior Jared Woodson defeated Wright State’s Alvarez and sophomore Carlos Estrada Sanchez 6-4.

Sophomore Braden Davis rounds out the Panthers who achieved victory over the weekend. Davis defeated Raider freshman Varun Kalaiarasan by the widest margin of Panther victory, winning (6-2, 6-3).

Although the Panthers earned a few victories, coach Sam Kercheval made clear that his team’s performance was unsatisfactory at best.

“To be honest, I thought it was a disappointing weekend. We need to be better than what we showed on the courts throughout the matches,” Kercheval said. “Overall, there were some issues that we will have to address and decide how we want to proceed. I think it was eye opening that I need to do a better job preparing the guys.”

The Panthers were swept in multiple matchups during the invite.

Although Kercheval was disappointed, he did see some bright spots from his team.

“There were certainly some positives to take away as guys had certain things that were improvements, things we had focused on in practice,” Kercheval said.

Kercheval stressed that practice will be key moving forward. The Panthers have a little under a month before their next invite. Kercheval says that time will be used to implement a new approach in practice to adjust what he believes the team needs.

The Panthers head to Illinois State the weekend of November third for a three-day tournament with the host Redbirds along with multiple other universities.

Parker Valentine can be reached at

581-2812 or [email protected]