Panthers seeking consistency in doubles

Vince Lovergine, Men's Tennis Reporter

All season long, Eastern coach Sam Kercheval said the doubles point is critical in tennis, and that the team still needs improvement at doubles play.

Kercheval said after the match against Eastern Kentucky, the Panthers made first serves, attacked the net and picked good targets against the opposition.

So far in doubles points this year, Eastern has swept the doubles point three times. Two of those were at the hands of Saint Francis and North Central College, which resulted in two wins. The only loss has come from Eastern Kentucky where Eastern swept the doubles point.

In its other two wins against Chicago State and Rose-Hulman, Eastern won two out of three doubles matches, which resulted in two victories for the team.

“My favorite strategy is hitting high off the net, dominating the net when I compete in doubles,” Freshman Logan Charbonneau said.

At times, the Panthers earned at least one doubles win, such as against University of Illinois-Chicago, IUPUI, and Saint Louis, but those matches all came in losses.

Through 18 matches, Eastern has used 13 different combinations at doubles competition. The best duos this spring has been sophomore Gage Kingsmith, and senior Jared Woodson, as well as the tandem of sophomore Freddie O’Brien and senior Trent Reiman.

Both teams have posted four wins each, with Woodson and Kingsmith compiling three wins at the No 2, doubles position, while having a two-match winning streak. For O’Brien and Trent, they have also posted three wins, but this comes from the No. 1 doubles.

Charbonneau said the transition from doubles to singles is not too difficult but is all depends on the player.

“It depends on what game you have, and you have to have a positive mind set to know every match is winnable,” he said.

The team of Charbonneau and senior Grant Reiman, they have earned three straight wins at the No. 3 doubles, while Charbonneau and O’Brien as a tandem have two wins.

“We have switched our doubles up a lot this year because we have trying to find what gives us the best chance to win the doubles point for the team,” Kercheval said. “Part has been out of necessity too with all injuries we have had and need for other guys to step in, injuries sometimes can help force you to look at things differently.”

In this spring season, Eastern has gone 4-14 just one win away from tying its five wins from a year ago.

“At this point, we are pretty set in what we are doing doubles wise,” Kercheval said. “I like what we have done over the last few weeks and the chemistry between partners is there. We still have to improve, as well as be ready for anything that comes up but now it’s about getting those teams stringer together and putting out a consistent product on a doubles court.”

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