Eastern finishes regular season

Vince Lovergine, Men's Tennis Reporter

That’s a wrap. The Eastern men’s tennis team concluded the spring season over the weekend in its final conference match.

Logan Charbonneau returns a hit during the Eastern men's tennis team's 6-1 loss to conference foe Jacksonville State March 22 at the Darling Courts.
Dillan Schorfheide
Logan Charbonneau returns a hit during the Eastern men’s tennis team’s 6-1 loss to conference foe Jacksonville State March 22 at the Darling Courts.

It did not go as the Panthers planned, dropping the match 4-0 to Austin Peay. The match was moved from Darling Courts to Champaign Dodds Center due to heavy winds in Charleston.

Despite a 1-4 conference record, Eastern qualified for the Ohio Valley Conference tournament for the second year in a row.

This season has been a whirlwind compared to last. The Panthers finished with six wins heading into the tournament. Now, they leapt that total to 13 which could help Eastern’s cause, vying to get out of the first round of competition.

Eastern got off to a fast start with the No. 3 doubles team of sophomore Logan Charbonneau and junior Freddie O’Brien winning yet, another match 6-3.

Make that 15 wins on the ledger for both Charbonneau and O’Brien, who’ve lost just two matches as a tandem this spring.

After that, the wheels fell off for Eastern. Junior Gretjan De Wilder and sophomore Mike Jansen lost at No. 1 doubles 7-6. Sophomore Daniel Hernandez and junior Gage Kingsmith also suffered a loss at No. 2 doubles, in a 6-4 final. 

O’Brien, Charbonneau and Hernandez all had their singles matches go unfinished, due to the Panthers struggling to clinch a win in No. 2, No. No. 4 and No. 5 singles.

In the not to distant future, Eastern will head to the OVC tournament in two weeks, April 26-28.

Time off will certainly help; just ask Charbonneau.

“I feel like it gives us a good opportunity to be in the top shape going into the tournament,” he said.

Eastern sits fifth in the OVC standings, with Jacksonville State leading the way with a 3-1 conference record.

The Panthers are 13-14 heading into the tournament and 1-4 in OVC action, which tops a winless Tennessee State at 0-3.

Last season, Eastern was knocked out in the first round by Jacksonville State 4-0, that being the first time the team reached the tournament since 2014.

Some players have seen what the OVC tournament has to offer which may help for the team’s goal at the OVC championship.

Junior Braden Davis didn’t compete in the tournament, but he can still bring insight despite not playing.

O’Brien, Charbonneau and Kingsmith all played and could help the team’s quest for a deep conference tournament run.

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