Men’s tennis duo showing how it’s done

Vince Lovergine, Men's Tennis Reporter

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It is obvious the Eastern men’s tennis team’s spring season has been one to remember.

Freddie O’Brien returns a hit with a forehand hit of his own in his singles match during Eastern’s 6-1 loss to Jacksonville State March 22 at the Darling Courts.

Dillan Schorfheide
Freddie O’Brien returns a hit with a forehand hit of his own in his singles match during Eastern’s 6-1 loss to Jacksonville State March 22 at the Darling Courts.

With the hire of interim director of tennis Chris Tolson, the team has seen new life.

Coming into the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, the Panthers are 13-14 and 1-4 in OVC action.

What stands out is the win total.

That is the most the team has seen in over 10 years, but another stat also sticks out within the team.

Sophomore Logan Charbonneau and junior Freddie O’Brien have made the tennis court their own playground as a doubles tandem.

Charbonneau and O’Brien have 15 wins this spring while losing only two matches. And, in their last 10 matches, they went 9-1.

It is somewhat similar to a year ago, when Charbonneau was paired with then-senior Grant Reiman, winning six matches.

Same goes for O’Brien, who paired up with senior Trent Reiman last year and won seven matches as a team.

When the season began, Charbonneau knew results were going to come.

“We expected it from the start,” he said. “We understood that our job was to just win.”

Charbonneau also said that O’Brien and himself know each other’s playing style, which helps a lot during matches.

“We kind of had an idea of how well Freddie and I play together,” Charbonneau said. “We knew how each of us would have to play in order for that person to play well. I kind of expect what Freddie does, I know his game so well, I don’t really need to think where the next ball is going to go.”

Some athletes have certain handshakes or rituals before a game and Charbonneau said himself and Freddie have a couple up their sleeve

“For the coin toss, we always have to pick heads, and Freddie’s first serve every time is always to the opponents’ backhand and I’m always ready,” he said.

O’Brien says it has been a fun season partnering with Charbonneau.

“It’s been pretty good because we’ve been playing with each other all season, and we’re understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses and work on that during practice,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said they went in with a big desire to win and succeed as much as they could, and things started falling into place.

Having that chemistry with Charbonneau, O’Brien said, is a big confidence booster

“It’s good knowing where your partner is going to be, which certainly helps in big point situations whether it be one or two points which is critical,” he said.

While Charbonneau and O’Brien have not struggled a whole lot this spring in terms of losing, during a match, O’Brien said he and Charbonneau are doing it the right way.

“We say to each other we need to do the basics right, we make sure we get our first serves in, and making every return possible,” O’Brien said. “Making sure we put the ball in the court and making plays because the worst thing you want to do is let the opponent win free games.”

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