O’Brien earns OVC Men’s Tennis Player of the Week

Vince Lovergine, Men’s Tennis Reporter

The Daily Eastern News
Dillan Schorfheide | The Daily Eastern News
Freshman Pau Riera goes for a return in the Eastern Illinois Fall Invite in Fall 2019 at Darling Courts.

Senior Freddie O’Brien has been a staple for the Eastern men’s tennis team in recent years and that earned him OVC Player of The Week for his efforts against Northern Kentucky and Northern Illinois.

O’Brien slotted in the No. 1 singles position for Eastern as he posted a 1-1 record for that week. He also posted the same 1-1 record in doubles play.

Despite his 4-6 record this year at No. 1 singles, O’Brien is now second on the Eastern career list for wins at No. 1 singles with 34. O’Brien is just four wins away to tie Chuck Levaque for the all-time lead at the No. 1 singles position during Eastern’s era in Division I.

O’Brien has accomplished a lot during his time in Panther blue, including: Named a first team all-OVC selection last year, defeated OVC player of the Year Hendrik Inno of Belmont last season as well, O’Brien was named all-OVC second team in 2018, and he’s won player of the week four times in his career including this one.

His junior season he finished 15-7 at No. 1 singles, and he finished tied for the eighth most singles wins in a single season in school history with those 15 wins. He was also awarded the OVC Medal of Honor.

Even O’Brien’s sophomore year, he went 11-9 at No. 1 singles. O’Brien’s season was cut short with an injury his freshman year but did rack up four wins.

O’Brien himself is humble on the achievements and he’s ready to take it to the next step.

“It’s always nice to be recognized for your play, and that the hard work your doing is moving you in the right direction,” he said. “A lot of work still to be done with conferences soon approaching. I didn’t actually realize I was contending for the all-time most wins at one singles which is really cool, and a great honor.”

Head coach Chris Tolson came in last year, and the moment he met O’Brien, Tolson knew he was going to be special.

“Freddie is great to have on this team; he is extremely talented; he is a hard worker and strives to be the very best he can be in everything he does.” Tolson said.

Tolson said O’Brien is going to leave his mark on the program.

“I am proud of Freddie that he is this close achieving such a great individual record,” Tolson said. “He has put in countless hours improving his game but I think when he is done here at EIU he will be happiest with the way he has led this team and helped get this program headed the right way.”

Even teammate junior Logan Charbonneau has high praise for O’Brien.

“What stood out about Freddie for me besides his game was his knowledge of the game, he helped me a lot with my transition from junior to collegiate tennis.” Charbonneau said.

Charbonneau credits O’Brien for being a leader and someone who makes the team better.

“He’s been an impact on more than just my athletic life, ever since I met him, he’s been a good friend that I could always go to if needed,” Charbonneau said. “It’s really great to have guys like him … in my life who have always been around through the good and bad since we’ve been here.”

Eastern returns to the court after a week off and gear up for Green Bay Saturday and Chicago State Sunday.

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