Eagles will get a chance to preview three other Big Sky schools at tournament in Boise
The Eastern Washington University men's tennis team will compete in its second of four tournaments of the 2010 fall season when it travels to Boise, Idaho for the Boise State Fall Classic Oct. 8-10. Including the Eagles, there will be 14 teams competing at the event, four of which hail from the Big Sky.
Montana, Montana State, Weber State and Eastern Washington will all be in attendance this weekend, as will several other regional schools including Gonzaga, Idaho, Portland and Seattle. Two of the teams playing at this event were ranked among the top 50 in the nation in the final ITA poll of the 2009-10 season. Brigham Young was ranked 36th , host-school Boise State was 42nd, while Idaho also appeared on the list at No. 70.
Eastern will send eight athletes to the three-day tournament in Bronco country. The field of athletes will be broken into three brackets; two collegiate and one open flight. Friday's matches will begin at 7 a.m. pacific time, while play on Saturday and Sunday will get underway at 8 a.m.
"This event will feature a lot of solid competition, but our team has really made some great strides in the last two weeks of practice," said EWU head coach Darren Haworth. "We will have eight singles players and four doubles teams, so this should be a good chance to get some wins under our belts and build our confidence in the early season. I am also looking forward to seeing who is going to step up to fill some of the holes that were left last season."
This event will be especially momentous for one Eagle in particular, as junior Stefan Simikic will be making his first return to Boise State since transferring from the school last season. Simikic was a redshirt for BSU in 2007-08 and then played in three singles and four doubles matches for the Broncos during the 2008-09 campaign.
The Boise State Fall Classic will mark just the second event of the year for the Eagles. The team opened its 2010-11 campaign by hosting the EWU/GU Classic Sept. 24-26. Sophomore Flavio Malagutti had the most success at the home event, as he was crowned champion of the singles B flight. Malagutti won four consecutive matches to take the title, including a 6-2, 6-0 victory over the No. 1 seed in the bracket, Montana's Eric Braun.
Sophomore Kyle Koetje and freshman Luis Altimires also had strong showings at the EWU/GU Classic, as Koetje advanced to the semifinals of the singles B bracket and then teamed up with Altimires in doubles play, where the duo topped Montana's Kohlomoos and Vaughn with an 8-5 decision.