Men’s tennis team’s season comes to end

Vince Lovergine, Men's Tennis Reporter

The fall season has come to close for the Eastern men’s tennis team, after competing in the Illinois State Fall Invite this past weekend.

The Panthers don’t resume their season until the spring and then start a 14-game road trip, with Ball State first in line on Jan. 20.

The last couple of months have been hectic to say the least for the men. The Panthers lost five players to graduation or transfer last year, but the Panthers added four new guys for the 2018-2019 season. 

News broke the first day of this school year that former interim director of tennis Sam Kercheval was leaving the program for a job at Notre Dame. 

The Panthers made a quick hire in Chris Tolson who comes from Arizona Christian, where he coached for eight years. Eastern also added Mike Munguia in September as an assistant coach.

Currently, Eastern has no seniors on the squad. Freddie O’Brien, Braden Davis, Logan Charbonneau and Gage Kingsmith are all juniors and younger. Daniel Hernandez and Mike Jansen are sophomores, and Luka Knieling and Lucas Meneguim are freshman

Some players have seen a drastic change from last season, and junior Braden Davis saw the extra work that was put in. 

“Everyone’s attitude and willingness to expect more, after the first day of our tournament this past weekend after not performing so well, we had a team meeting with just the guys on the team (no coaches,)” Davis said. “We talked about doing the little things better like more energy for teammates when they are playing and making sure everyone is ready going into their matches with doing extra in the warmup.”

Sophomore Logan Charbonneau sees the team’s improvement and wants to keep working.

“There’s really nothing that needs fixing,” Charbonneau said. “It’s just a matter of how much we can build on whatever we have and how hard we work as individuals as well as a team.”

One goal last year for the Panthers was to reach the OVC tournament. They did just that for the first time since 2014.

The Panthers have that same goal in mind, but now it’s to win the championship. Eastern kicks off the conference portion of the schedule March 22 at home against Jacksonville State.

Eastern will also face Tennessee Tech in March on the road. The Panthers again will be on the road against Belmont in early April then they welcome Austin Peay to town on April 12.

Vince Lovergine at 581-2812 or [email protected].