Men’s tennis team drops first spring match


Sean Hastings

Senior Jared Woodson forehands the ball at the Panthers’ practice in Lantz Field House Oct. 25. Woodson dropped his doubles match this weekend at Indiana in the Panthers first meet of the season.

Vince Lovergine, Men's Tennis Reporter

The Eastern men’s tennis team opened the 2018 spring schedule on Monday, but it did not serve up all too well for the Panthers.

Eastern started the new campaign against Indiana, and could not find any rhythm to earn a win.

The Panthers dropped the match 7-0, similar to last season when the Panthers lost 7-0 to Indiana last season.

Playing at No. 1 singles, sophomore Freddie O’Brien could not muster much against Raheel Manji who is currently ranked No. 125 in the ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) singles rankings. O’Brien lost in straight sets to Manji 6-1, 6-0. 

With Eastern having six of its nine players sophomores and younger, the Panthers had two freshmen in the starting lineup with Kaisei Kuroki playing at No. 2 singles and Logan Charbonneau playing at No. 4 singles. 

Antonio Cembellin beat Kuroki (6-3, 6-3) while Brandon Lam defeated Charbonneau (6-4, 6-1)

Senior Trent Reiman lost at No. 3 singles. Sophomore Gage Kingsmith was defeated at No. 5 singles and senior Grant Reiman lost at No. 6 singles.
       Indiana won the doubles point winning all three doubles matches. Kingsmith and Grant had the most competitive score losing, 6-4, at No. 2 doubles.

In other single competition, Bennett Crane shut out Trent (6-0, 6-0) Brandon Lam def. Charbonneau (6-4, 6-1)

Andrew Redding had similar success against Kingsmith, winning in consecutive sets (6-1, 6-3)
William Piekarsky wrapped up singles play for Indiana def. Grant (6-3, 6-2)

While the season is still very young, coach Sam Kercheval said the expectation is to always keep improving as individuals and as a team.

“No matter what happens, we need to continue to be hungry for more and have that desire to get better,” Kercheval said. “The good news is that after our match today, almost every player was either frustrated or disappointed in their performance.”

While playing Indiana is never an easy task, Kercheval also said Indiana is the strongest team his team will face all year and certainly at another level above where the team is now.

“The guys came away feeling we can and need to be better which is encouraging because this is the type of match in the past where they would have said “it was a really tough match” or “they are just so much better,” he said. “Now they are saying “I just have to work harder.”

With Eastern playing Ball State on Saturday, Kercheval is ready to see how his team responds next time out.

“The anticipation of the new season is gone and we can really settle in to everything,” Kercheval said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the guys respond in practice to today’s results.”

Vince Lovergine can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]