Eastern improves to 2-1 in Big Sky action with 5-2 victory over Bengals
The Eastern Washington University men's tennis team took control of the match early, and went on to defeat Idaho State, 5-2 on Sunday (Feb. 27) in a Big Sky Conference men's tennis match in Pocatello, Idaho. With the win, Eastern evened its overall season record to 5-5 and improved to 2-1 in conference action. Idaho State remained winless on the year at 0-8 and 0-2 in Big Sky play.
Eastern won all three doubles matches against ISU to gain an early 1-0 edge. Junior Stefan Simikic and sophomore Kyle Koetje earned their fifth victory of the season as a doubles team when they outlasted ISU's Danel Barrenechea and Gilberto Azevedo, 8-7 (7-4) at No. 1.
Juniors Chad Henninger and Julian Sanchez won their match, 8-3, while sophomore Chris Eriksson and freshman James Russell improved their season record in doubles play to 4-1 with an 8-4 victory over Nate Gross and Colton Pate.
In singles play, sophomore Fernando Mussolini was able to extend EWU's lead to two after he bested Azevedo, 6-4, 6-1 at No. 1.
The Bengals would get one point back when Gross defeated Simikic at No. 4 singles, 6-3, 7-5. But Eastern then clinched the match with back-to-back victories at No. 2 and 3. EWU's Chad Henninger also prevailed at No. 6 singles, as he beat Dan Buckingham in three sets, 5-7, 6-2, 1-0 (10-5).
Freshman Mario Navarro won at No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-3, and Sanchez won his third-straight match at No. 3, taking down Pate, 7-5. 6-3. Sanchez is undefeated (5-0) this season when playing at No. 3. He overall record stands at 7-3, which is the best record on the squad and among the top five in the Big Sky.
After playing six-consecutive matches on the road, Eastern will finally return home to Cheney for its next two competitions against Big Sky rivals Montana State (March 5) and Montana (March 6).