Men’s tennis sweeps weekend matches

Vince Lovergine, Men's Tennis

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If last season was any indication the Eastern men’s tennis team was turning things around, well, that’s now a reality.

Eastern had four matches this weekend, and they did not disappoint. The Panthers claimed all four matches and begin the season 5-0, beating  Alcorn State (5-2), Jackson State (4-1), Mississippi Valley State (4-0) and Saint Louis (4-3).

That’s the first time Eastern has won its first five matches to begin a season since 1983 where the team won its first eight matches and finished the year at 18-6 and placed first of six teams in the AMCU Championship.

Head coach Chris Tolson mixed and matched a lot of different players for doubles and singles positioning, where junior Daniel Hernandez went 3-0 in singles action, including two wins at No. 3.

Hernandez was also featured in three doubles matches going 1-1 and having a match go unfinished. The one win however came at No. 1 doubles with freshman Christos Kyrillou at Alcorn State 7-6.

Senior Freddie O’Brien went 2-1 at the No. 1 singles slot and 3-0 in doubles play including a forfeit win with junior Logan Charbonneau against Alcorn State at No. 3 doubles. Charbonneau on the other hand went 2-0 in singles play, in which he secured a win at No. 1 against Mississippi Valley State.

Knowing the number of matches that were played, Charbonneau said mixing up the team is promising.

“It’s definitely a good thing, I mean we had to split up our team for just about every match this weekend and to still have the result that we did is a big positive,” he said. “A lot of the guys are doing great so far, we just need to keep our heads strong into the next matches.”

Junior Mike Jansen went 1-1 in singles action, and picked up two wins in No. 1 doubles action, teaming up with O’Brien with finishes of (6-1) against Jackson State and (6-4) over Saint Louis.

Jansen has seen the change in the team this year and it’s a difference maker.

“The energy is amazing, and everyone is fighting until the end, which is something that’s better than most other teams and brings out the best in all of us,” Jansen said.

Some of the new faces got in on the action as well, where freshman Pau Riera went 2-1 in singles play, Kyrillou notched a win in singles play against Saint Louis and freshman Max Pilipovic-Kljajic got a singles win against Mississippi Valley State.

Seniors Gertjan De Wilder and Gage Kingsmith went 1-1 as a team at No. 3 doubles, grabbing a win against Jackson State (6-3).

Senior Braden Davis saw some action as well, coming out victorious in his only match at No. 6 singles against Saint Louis (6-1, 6-2).

 

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