Men’s tennis team staying positive as season approaches

Vince Lovergine, Men's Tennis Reporter

The fall season is approaching for the Eastern men’s tennis team, who currently are still without a coach.

Back in August, Interim Director of Tennis Sam Kercheval left for a position with Notre Dame.

The Panthers are one week away from starting their season in the River Forest College Invite for the second straight year. 

Sophomore Logan Charbonneau finished third in the No. 6 singles draw. In doubles action former Panther Trent Reiman advanced to the championship match with doubles partner Freddie O’Brien. The doubles team played in the No. 2 doubles draw. O’Brien and Reiman beat the doubles team from University of Illinois Chicago in the opening round (7-5).  

In the semifinals they beat Marquette’s doubles team, and eventually, the Panthers double team would fall in the championship match (6-5) to Valparaiso.

It’s a season Eastern should be looking forward to considering the last two seasons, and the team has progressed in a lot of ways.

Some of these include record-wise, individual growth, and advancing to the Ohio Valley Conference tournament last year for the first time since 2014.

For Freddie O’Brien, being one of the three oldest on the team, he’s really focused on getting ready for the new season and helping prepare the team for the new season.

“We’re all remaining positive and focusing on our tennis,” O’Brien said. “We’re drilling hard with hitting lots of balls and getting ready for River Forest.”

The Panthers will have four new guys join the team this season, and O’Brien mentioned the team is maintaining constant contact and getting them involved.

“We’ve gone out for team dinner’s, and I think for Gage (Kingsmith), myself, Braden (Davis) and Logan (Charbonneau), we’re trying to step up and be better leaders and of course helping them out with not having a coach,” O’Brien said.

It’s really all about getting to each other more, having them over, and it comes down to getting them comfortable, and you want them to feel at home.”

Even for junior Braden Davis, he too wants to step up and be a leader and help any way he can.

“We’re just making sure everyone stays positive because that negative behavior can be contagious.” David said. “In tennis we have to make sure we find our grooves and focus on quality over quantity.”

While there has not been any word on who will be hired as the new coach for the men’s team, new women’s coach Chris Tolson will travel with the men and help support the team.

“He’s been quite helpful for a guy who just came in and doesn’t know anything about us,” O’Brien said. “He’s done a nice job, he’s instructed drills on some days and kept it on us and kept us going, and he’s certainly helped us out.”

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