Men’s tennis team drops 2 matches


File Photo

Eastern junior Gage Kingsmith returns a ball in a match last season at the Darling Courts. The men’s tennis team is 6-6- this season.

Vince Lovergine, Men's Tennis Reporter

The Eastern men’s tennis team continued its long trip to start the spring season, but the results were not what the team would have liked.

The Panthers fell to 6-6 on the year after losing to Valparaiso 6-1 Friday, and University of Illinois-Chicago 5-2 Sunday.

The losses snap Eastern’s two game win streak, but there were a lot of positives that the Panthers were excited for.

One was the doubles tandem of sophomore Logan Charbonneau and junior Freddie O’Brien, who won another match against Valparaiso, while the match against the Flames went unfinished.

Charbonneau and O’Brien improved to 6-1 this campaign and Charbonneau explains how important it is to stay focused during the match.

“I feel like a big part of it has to do with starting out as intense as possible, if we can consistently start out strong, hit our spots and try to demoralize our opponents from the jump then we give ourselves a much better chance of winning,” Charbonneau said. “From there it’s just about riding the rhythm and not letting off the gas.”

Sophomore Daniel Hernandez earned the lone point for the Panthers with his win at No. 3 singles. Hernandez beat Brian Pecyna in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 10-6.

Junior Braden Davis pushed his match to three sets at No. 6 singles, before falling to Nick Marino 6-4, 4-6, 10-7.

Davis, however didn’t compete in the University of Illinois at Chicago match, but for him even though he doesn’t get consistent play, he still has a job to do.

“I think the big thing is I’ve matured and have realized that even if I’m not playing I still have a role on the team to help us get the win,” Davis said. “It’s also certainly a lot easier now since we are starting to get the results we want as a team.”

In the University of Illinois-Chicago match, Eastern notched another point on the scoreboard, but it was not enough for them to pull out a win.

The Flames would earn the point in doubles play, but the Panthers responded in singles play with O’Brien and sophomore Mike Jansen giving Eastern a 2-1 advantage with wins at No. 1 singles for O’Brien and No. 2 singles for Jansen. O’Brien topped Niko Vasilewicz 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 and Jansen won 6-4, 6-1 over Johan Hedstrom.

Coming into the match, Jansen had a wrist injury, but he still managed to pick up his seventh win at No. 2 singles, and one certain thing helped him for this match.

“After watching the national USTA indoor tournament, gaining some experience in how easy tennis could be, I tried to go on court and outplay the opponent by playing smarter,” Jansen said. “It’s great to see that without my proper serve and forehand, I still was able to relatively easy win against a decent player. I got a great amount of confidence out of this match and will make sure that I will use this for the matches coming.

University of Illinois-Chicago would make things interesting by evening up the match with a win at No. 3 singles, and they would eventually win out in singles action. The Flames clinched the deciding point at No. 5 singles with Anthony Nguyen winning a three-set match over freshman Luka Knieling 5-7, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3.s

Eastern looks to shake off its losing streak with Dayton first n line on Friday and Northern Kentucky Saturday.

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