Eastern needs to win at least one match this weekend for a chance at making the Big Sky Conference Tournament; a sweep would seal the deal
Date - Opponent - Time/Pacific
April 16 – at Montana – 12 p.m.
April 17 – at Montana State – 2 p.m.
By Keenan Bowen, EWU Sports Information
The Eastern Washington University men’s tennis team faces two important matches this weekend as they battle at Montana on Friday (April 16) and at Montana State on Saturday (April 17). If the Eagles sweep both matches, they will head to the Big Sky Conference Tournament for the fifth-straight year.
If the Eagles sweep both matches they will receive the fourth and final spot in the tournament, finishing with a 5-3 record in conference play. There are scenarios that would allow Eastern to lose either one of the two matches and still make the tournament. If three or more teams are tied, the Eagles would win the tie-breaker by virtue of their victory over second-place Weber State earlier this season.
“It’ll be great to see the guys finish out strong,” said head coach Darren Haworth. “They are peaking at the right time. Both matches will be tough on the road but I’m confident we can win both.”
Montana is currently 6-6 overall and 3-2 in the conference. The Grizzlies are most recently coming off of a 4-3 win over Idaho State on April 10. Montana State is 5-15 overall and 1-4 in the conference, and has lost eight of its last ten matches.
The match Friday will begin at noon and Saturday’s match is set to begin at 2 p.m.
Lone Senior: Eagle senior Nico Riego de Dios is now fourth all-time at Eastern with 42 career singles wins. Riego de Dios surpassed former teammate Daniel Pez (2007-09), who finished his career last season with 39 career singles wins.
Brazilian Duo: Fernando Mussolini and Flavio Malagutti, both true freshmen from Brazil, have hit the ground running this season and amassed a 15-6 overall record in singles before the last road trip saw them lose a combined 13 straight matches against heavy competition.
Mussolini, along with Malagutti and Chad Henninger, leads all Eagles in singles wins with nine. All have also won four conference matches.
Three Of A Kind: Henninger, Malagutti and Mussolini all went 3-0 in their first three singles matches of the season.
All three picked up their third win Feb. 7 at Gonzaga, and did so in impressive fashion. In No. 3 singles, Mussolini dropped his first set 4-6 to Roman Dojcak, but stormed back to win the next two sets by a 6-3 score.
In the No. 4 singles spot, Henninger lost a close first set 6-7 to Scott Sullivan, but responded with a close 7-6 victory in the second set and pulled away in the third set with a 6-2 final score.
Like the others, Malagutti dropped his first set in the No. 6 singles spot against Jake Davis, but ended up tying things up by winning the second set 6-3. Malagutti and Davis battled in the third set, and Malagutti emerged with a 13-11 victory.
First time: Eagles freshmen Kyle Koetje, Mussolini, and Malagutti picked up their first singles wins of their career Jan. 31 against Lewis-Clark State.
Mussolini, playing as the No. 3 singles player, defeated Oliver Sindayigaya by the score of 6-3, 7-5. He also teamed-up with partner Julian Sanchez to earn a doubles victory.
Stefan Simikic picked up his first singles victory as an Eagle. Simikic transferred from Boise State, where he posted a 1-2 singles record last season in limited action.
Eastern Tennis -- http://goeags.com/sports/m-tennis/index
Stats & Results -- http://goeags.com/sports/m-tennis/2009-10/statistics/teamstat.htm
Big Sky Conference Tennis -- http://bigskyconf.com/index.aspx?tab=tennis2&path=mten
NCAA Tennis -- http://www.ncaa.com/sports/m-tennis/ncaa-m-tennis-body.html
More Information and Links are Available at: HTTP://WWW.GOEAGS.COM
Recent EWU Men’s Tennis Headlines . . .
April 11, 2010 - Eagles Win 5-2 Over Redhawks
April 10, 2010 - Eagles Fall Short Against Lumberjacks 4-3
April 9, 2010 - Eagles Top Wildcats 5-2
March 23, 2010 - No. 43 Broncos Stifle Eagles 7-0
March 12, 2010 - No. 18 Huskies Shutdown Eagles
March 4, 2010 - Eagles Get Revenge With 6-1 Win Over Gonzaga
February 26, 2010 - Eagles Earn 6-1 Win Over Idaho State
February 21, 2010 - Vandals Top Eagles 4-2
February 20, 2010 - Eagles Break Skid With 7-0 Victory Over Bears
February 14, 2010 - Gaels Defeat Eagles 5-2
February 13, 2010 - Vikings Edge Eagles 4-3 In BSC Opener
February 12, 2010 - Eagles Shut Down 7-0 By Ducks
February 7, 2010 - Bulldogs Sneak Past Eagles 4-3
February 3, 2010 - Eagles Take Care Of Pirates 7-0
January 31, 2010 - Eagles Open 2009-10 Season With 7-0 Victory
January 28, 2010 - SEASON OUTLOOK: Eagles Eager To Begin 2009-10 Season
November 17, 2009 - Eastern Competes Well in Seattle
October 25, 2009 - Eagle Men and Women Play in ITA Regionals
October 4, 2009 - Riego de Dios has Strong Weekend for Eagles