Men’s tennis team wins Thursday before weekend matches


File Photo

Gage Kingsmith lunges forward to return a hit during the Eastern men’s tennis team’s 7-0 loss to Belmont at the Darling Courts in March 2018.

Vince Lovergine, Men's Tennis Reporter

Coming into the spring season, the Eastern men’s tennis team wanted to change what Eastern men’s tennis was. Well, they have certainly done that.

The Panthers had a slight schedule change Thursday, as the team was supposed to play Olivet Nazarene, April 19. Instead, both teams played today, which resulted in a 6-3 Panther victory.

Junior Mike Jansen returned to action after missing last weekend’s matches due to a wrist injury. He said there was not any real pain, and he won his match (8-5).

“Feels good to play again for the team and school,” Jansen said. “And then winning makes it better.”

Make that nine wins this spring season and Eastern is not too far off from eclipsing win No. 10 for the first time since 2009. The last time the Panthers notched more than 10 wins was 2008 when the team won 13 matches.

Eastern currently stands as 9-8 on the campaign, with nine matches remaining. Two of those are this weekend on the road against Chicago State Friday and Ball State Sunday.

The Panthers ride a comfortable three-game winning streak after its recent win over Olivet Nazarene.

The Cougars of Chicago State have not had a great start to the season, sitting at 0-2 on the year, while Ball State can relate to Chicago State, with the Cardinals having a 3-7 overall record.

Ball State did lose four in a row but snapped that with a win against Villanova on Monday.

The success for Eastern against Chicago State could have them favored in this one; since 2012, the Panthers have compiled a 4-1 record against the Cougars.

But that is not the case against Ball State. Dating back to 2010, Eastern has yet to defeat a Cardinal team in nine straight matches.

For sophomore Logan Charbonneau, with a match like today and the trend they are on, the team does not want to overlook anyone.

“We’re still taking things day by day; we’re not looking too far into the future, but at the same time, we’re preparing for it,” Charbonneau said. “We just beat Olivet Nazarene, so we’re looking ahead to Chicago state tomorrow now.”

The same goes for junior Gage Kingsmith who has seen his game improve, which has resulted in more wins for the team.

But for Kingsmith, the team has to keep its foot on the gas pedal.

“I want to make sure we keep the same energy we had in our last matches and use that energy this weekend to get us some more wins,” he said. “Everyone is playing well, and I know we’ll do well.”

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