Eastern men’s tennis team falls to IUPUI 5-2

Vince Lovergine, Men's Tennis Reporter

Improvement is starting to show but has not resulted in a win to this point for the Eastern men’s tennis team.

Eastern came into the match against Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis with a 0-3 record Friday, but the Jaguars handed the Panthers their third-straight loss of the spring schedule and their second straight to the Jaguars 5-2 at the West Indy Tennis Center.

It has been a successful stretch for sophomore Freddie O’Brien so far this year. After notching Eastern’s first win against Ball State, O’Brien earned two more wins against the Jaguars.

In singles competition, O’Brien won his match at No. 1 singles for the second straight contest. He won in consecutive sets (6-4), (6-3) over Jac Newis, moving his record to 2-1 in singles play in the spring season.

After Eastern lost its first two matches in doubles play, O’Brien earned another win, this time in doubles competition with partner Grant Reiman, defeating Bradley Luetschwager and Kyle Whittaker in a tie breaker 7-6 (6).

Another win in doubles competition gave Grant and O’Brien their first doubles win this spring season.

Eastern coach Sam Kercheval was impressed with O’Brien during this spring schedule but also had praise for other players.

“It’s great to see Freddie stringing together some solid performances,” Kercheval said. “You can see his confidence growing, which is important. I’m proud of Braden (Davis) and how he stepped up when he was thrown in there this weekend. He did a pretty good job of sticking to the game plan and playing the way he knows he should, which is not always how he is when comfortable.”

The Panthers secured another point from No. 6 singles, with Davis winning a tie breaker over Michael Koch 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 (5).

After two tie-breaking matches, freshman Logan Charbonneau at the No. 3 position could not earn much against Eric Hollingsworth on another tie-breaker. Hollingsworth defeated Charbonneau, 4-6, 6-2, 1-0, (10).

Rounding out the rest of the singles competition, Kaisei Kuroki lost to Sean Bailey, 6-0, 6-2.

Bradley Luetschwager got the best of Grant, winning in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0.

Senior Jared Woodson has yet to find his groove, with Ethan Mardawn-Budiono sweeping him, 6-0, 6-0.

In doubles competition, the team of Newis and Budiono for Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis defeated Woodson and Kuroki, 6-4, while Bailey and Weaver defeated Braden Davis and Logan Charbonneau, 6-2.

Kercheval also said he is pleased with Charbonneau because he is finding ways to compete, which is what the team needs from everyone.

Eastern returns to the court Tuesday on the road against Chicago State.

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