Malagutti wins four-consecutive singles matches to claim title of the men's open "B" flight
The Eastern Washington University men's tennis team kicked off its 2010-11 season by hosting the EWU/GU Classic Friday, Sept. 24 – Sun, Sept. 26 in Cheney, Wash. Highlighting the performances for Eastern was sophomore Flavio Malagutti, who was crowned champion of the open singles "B" flight. Malagutti advanced to the finals after defeating Montana's Eric Braun, who was No. 1 seed in the bracket, by a score of 6-2, 6-0. Malagutti went on to beat Oliver Sindayigaya of Lewis-Clark St. College, who was forced to retire in the final round.
"Flavio came back from the summer in really good shape and is playing the best tennis I have ever seen him play," commended EWU head coach Darren Haworth. "He is learning how to be patient in the match and really grind out the wins."
Sophomore Kyle Koetje also played solid in the open singles "B" flight, as he made it through to the semifinals before dropping a close match (6-3, 6-2, 1-0) to Sindayigaya, who was the No. 2 seed.
In the open singles "A" flight, junior Julian Sanchez outlasted Pablo Perez of Gonzaga (6-1, 2-6, 1-0) and Andrew Warren of Montana (6-4, 7-5) before falling to the Grizzlies' Carl Kuschke in the quarterfinal round.
The Eagles had three doubles teams advance to the quarterfinals of the competitive open bracket. Sophomore Fernando Mussolini and junior Julian Sanchez recorded an 8-4 win over Montana's Braun and DeMarios, while Koetje and freshman Luis Altimires knocked off UM's Kohlomoos and Vaughn with an 8-5 decision.
"This was a good tournament with tough competition," said Haworth. "We have only had one week of practice, so the guys are tired and beat up, but they competed hard and I am overall very happy with our performances. I was especially pleased to see our freshman Luis step up in doubles play. One of our main goals this year was to have three really solid doubles teams, and based on what we saw this weekend, that is certainly in the making."
Eastern will be back in action on Oct. 8 – 10 when it travels to Boise, Idaho for the Boise State Fall Classic.