Men’s tennis gets ready for Louisville, home invites

Vince Lovergine, Men's Tennis Reporter

After a week of rest, the Eastern men’s tennis team is serving up two more fall invites on the fall schedule.

The Panthers will send six players to the Louisville Fall Invite that begins Friday and runs until Sunday, while the rest will compete in the Panther Fall Invite starting Friday and wrapping up on Saturday.

With rain expected in the forecast Friday, the matches will be moved to Lantz Fieldhouse and Saturday’s matches will be taking place in Mattoon.

Teams that Eastern will be battling against are Quincy, Saint Louis and Lindenwood-Belleville. 

This marks the second fall invite Eastern will host, and the Panthers had some success last time out. At the EIU Panther Invite September 20th and 21st, senior Gertjan De Wilder won the consolation bracket in flight 2 singles.

Adding eight new freshmen to the team has not hindered the team’s progress in any way. In fact, the freshmen are making an impact throughout the fall schedule. 

Senior Braden Davis can attest to how the freshmen have responded so quickly, which will help in the future. 

“It’s nice to see with us having so many guys leaving after this year and knowing that the program is in good hands,” he said.

As head coach Chris Tolson stated before, these matches are to get everyone their reps and work out the kinks.

It is no different for junior Logan Charbonneau whose been through this journey before, but he is focusing on what he can control.

“Just getting to a strong level of focus and being able to maintain it is a priority for me right now with the Louisville tournament coming up,” Charbonneau said. “I don’t want small things to get to me at all this week.”

So far, freshman Cameron Slabbert reached the finals in the Olivet Nazarene Tournament, while Kyle Burton took the men’s title in the consolation bracket in the EIU Panther Fall Invite.

One of the four seniors on this year’s team, Gage Kingsmith, said he knows it is grueling, but he makes sure the younger players stay positive.

“I just tell them to stay focused, and to keep on grinding,” he said. “The fall is long but important for us to improve as players.”

The Panthers have three remaining fall invites left on the fall schedule, but a big one to circle is one that is rapidly approaching, the ITA Midwest Regional at Ohio State October 16th through the 18th

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