With another match on the road against St. Louis, the Eastern men’s tennis team are now on its sixth game of this 11-game road trip.
The Panthers opened the 2016-2017 season against St. Louis on the road, but fell 6-1. Despite losing the match, Eastern did pick up a singles victory from freshman now sophomore Marko Stefan Janjusic. Janjusic defeated St. Louis’s Justin Nogalski 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in the No. 6 spot to record his first career victory at Eastern.
Panthers would also secure a victory with the doubles team of Freddie O’Brien and Gage Kingsmith 6-4 over St. Louis’s team of Charlie Parry and John Nogalski.
Eastern coach Sam Kercheval said this past weekend, O’Brien who won his fifth straight match, continues to show poise and not lose focus of his matches.
“Against Wright State, Freddie was very mentally tough.” He said. “He had a couple chances to drop his level or become frustrated like dropping the 2nd set but he stayed in the moment and played very well.”
Currently, the Panthers are 1-5 this season, and road matches still cause Eastern problems, winning just two of 22 road matches dating back to last year.
Some things Coach Kercheval noticed last weekend, need to be fixed moving forward.
“Our doubles was poor and it’s a lot of basic things that we need to address again.” He said. “In general, we as a team are making too many unforced errors. So that will be the focus these next few days.”
The last time the Panthers defeated St. Louis 4-3 back in 2013 season, but have lost the last two straight against St. Louis.
Kercheval said that for Eastern coming into the match against St. Louis, the team will need to be focused.
“The doubles point will be big for the momentum, especially in this match since we have always battled close with SLU.” He said. “they are a very experienced group with a lot of senior. But we have better experience as well so need to rely on that and how we’ve been progressing.”
Kercheval also said the guys feel like they’re getting better and saying they feel more confident, so we need to go out there and play that way.
Luckily for the Panthers, the Billiken’s remain winless on the season, sitting at 0-3. St Louis lost to Northern 7-0, Omaha 4-3, and Arkansas 6-1.
Senior David Ferragut is the top player for the Billiken’s in singles play, posting an 8-3 overall. Sophomore Justin Nogalski currently rides a two-game winning streak coming into the match with a 6-4 record.
For freshman Logan Charbonneau, while all the matches this season will be new for him, he just controls his game, and his teammates support him the whole way.
“the biggest thing for me when facing a new team or new opponents is to control what I can control and let go of the things I can’t,” Charbonneau said. “It helps if I depend on my teammates for support as well. As much as individual sport tennis is, the team aspect makes it so much more fun.”
In the Ohio Valley Conference Standings, overall record wise, Eastern still sits in 5th, with Tennessee State leading the pack at 5-1.
Eastern heads to O’Fallon, ILL. on Friday starting at 1 P.M.