Men’s tennis team to play Illinois State, Rose-Hulman

Vince Lovergine, Men's Tennis Reporter

With two more road matches looming, the Eastern men’s tennis team is headed to Illinois State and Rose-Hulman this weekend.

The Panthers start the weekend Friday against Illinois State, but the results for Eastern against the Redbirds have not been what they would have liked.

Eastern has lost all four matches with Illinois State since 2009. In two of those matches, Eastern lost 5-2, and the other two came at a score of 6-1.

The Panthers’ most recent match against Illinois State was last year, where Eastern fell to the Redbirds 5-2.

Last season sophomore Freddie O’Brien and sophomore Gage Kingsmith picked up the doubles point against Illinois State

Seniors Grant and Trent Reiman recorded their first doubles win last season against the Redbirds, while O’Brien was the sole Panther to pick up a singles win in three sets at the No. 1 position last year.

Illinois State has been solid at home this season, posting a 6-1 record, with an 8-4 overall record. The Redbirds had its previous two game losing streak snapped against Denver, falling 7-0.

Senior Christoffer Greve and junior Igor Kolaric have been impressive this spring, both compiling nine wins in singles play this spring, while having identical records at 9-2.

Freshman Pol Rius Botifoll has also impressed this spring, sitting second on the team in wins with eight, and 8-3 overall.

Doubles play wise, senior Andreas Boers and freshman Pol Rius Botifoll are 8-2 this spring as a tandem, leading Illinois State in that category.

Eastern head coach Sam Kercheval said the team knows Illinois State is a good team.

“We played the Illinois State invite in the fall as well as the past few years, so we are aware that they are a strong and pretty experienced team,” Kercheval said.

For Eastern, O’Brien leads the team in wins with eight, while Grant Reiman and Braden Davis both have three wins a piece.

As for the match against Rose-Hulman, they have not had the same success as Illinois State, with the Engineers having their three-game winning streak snapped against Mt. St. Mary’s. Rose-Hulman is currently 4-5 this spring.

The Engineers and Eastern will play in a neutral which will be the ninth for Rose-Hulman.

Junior Andre Adam, senior Cam Metzger and sophomore Ian Landwehr all have six wins for the Engineers this spring, in different singles positions.

Adam and Metzger have also succeeded as doubles partners, posting six wins to this point, winning their last four doubles matches.

With conference matches right around the corner, Kercheval said concentration and battling will be key.

“We need to continue to focus on our daily efforts, habits and development,” he said. “The goal every time you step on the court for a match is to win it, but you can’t focus on wanting to win. You have to focus and concentrate on the steps it takes to reach those goals and that’s a daily battle.”

Eastern starts at 7 p.m. against Illinois State Friday and 2:30 p.m. against Rose-Hulman Saturday. 

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