Men’s tennis team hits the road, heads to ISU

Parker Valentine, Tennis Reporter

 The Eastern men’s tennis team completes its fall invitational season this weekend at the Illinois State fall invite.

This is the third event of the Panthers fall season and will be the last until mid-January.

Eastern will be one of four teams in attendance.

The other teams attending are Marquette, Butler and the Redbirds.

The last time the Panthers played Marquette in spring competition was in 2015, they have not played Butler in recent spring seasons.

Illinois State is the only team at the invite the Panthers played last spring.

They had one of their most competitive spring match against the Redbirds.

Sophomore Freddie O’Brien earned a singles and a doubles win against ISU.

He defeated graduate Urh Krajnc Domiter in three sets after dropping the first (3-6, 6-3, 10-5).

He and partner, sophomore Gage Kingsmith defeated Domiter and senior Andreas Boers 6-2.

The Reiman brothers were the other duo to find success against the Redbirds.

Seniors Grant and Trent Reiman defeated former Redbird sophomores Matias Chomali and Peter Foersom.

This event will feature a different Redbird roster though. Neither Foersom or Chomali remain with ISU, and only one athlete the Panthers earned a win against in spring remains on the roster.

Coach Sam Kercheval said the goal for the Panthers’ last invite is to see improvement from his roster.

“The expectations are the same they were at (Valparaiso), expect to do better,” Kercheval said. “The expectation is to show up, compete and win the way we expected to last time.”

The Valparaiso invite was the Panthers most recent invitational.

Reiman, Kingsmith, and sophomore Braden Davis all recorded wins in Valparaiso, but Kercheval said the Panthers could have had a better showing if the team maintained focus.

Kercheval stressed that seeing higher energy and focus more consistently will be the key to success this weekend.

“We need to even things out consistently, but we’re certainly seeing better product on the court. We just need to see that better product more often,” Kercheval said.

Play at ISU starts at 10 a.m. Friday and goes through Saturday.

Play starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday also.

After the ISU invitational, the Panthers will have a couple months off to prepare for spring play.

When spring play begins, the Panthers will be in Bloomington, Ind. taking on the Hoosiers of the University of Indiana. That match is set for 5 p.m. on Jan. 15.

Parker Valentine can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]