January 15, 2011

Eastern Finishes 1-1 in Opening Day Doubleheader

Fernando Mussolini goes 2-0 in singles play, including big win over Oregon's Robin Cambier


RESULTS for EWU vs. Whitworth

RESULTS for EWU vs. Oregon

(For .PDF of results, click links at top of page)


The Eastern Washington University men's tennis team opened its 2011 campaign with a doubleheader in Spokane on Saturday (Jan. 15). The Eagles came away with a 1-1 record, as it defeated Division III Whitworth, 7-0 and then fell to Oregon, 6-1.

Eastern did not drop a single set in its sweep of Whitworth in the first match of Saturday's doubleheader.

Sophomore Fernando Mussolini defeated Colin Zalewski at No. 1 singles with a 6-2, 6-4 decision. EWU junior Stefan Simikic also won it straight sets, beating Daniel Redfern 6-3, 6-2 at the No. 2 spot.  

After a narrow victory in the first-set, junior Julian Sanchez dominated Whitworth's Joe Wales in the second to take the match, 7-5, 6-1.

Freshman James Russell topped Micah Spaun, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4 singles and sophomore Kyle Koetje made quick work of Colin Barrett, 6-1, 6-2 at the No. 5 spot.

At No. 6 singles, sophomore Flavio Malagutti handled Whitworth's Henry Williams with ease, winning the match, 6-4, 6-0.

The Eagles had similar success in doubles play, as Mussolini and sophomore-transfer Chris Eriksson won the first doubles point with an 8-3 decision over Zalewski and Redfern. Simikic and Koetje outlasted Wales and Williams, 8-5, while Malagutti and Russell took down Blaine and Barrett, 8-3.

Against Oregon, the Eagles put a reputable fight, capturing one win in doubles and one in singles play. Mussolini, who was competing in the No. 2 singles spot, defeated Oregon's Robin Cambier, 6-2, 6-1 for his second victory of the day.

"Fernando was phenomenal," praised EWU head coach Darren Haworth. "That was one of the best matches I have ever seen him play. He stayed focused and composed against a guy who has had some great results in the past."

Eriksson also had an impressive showing in singles play, as he dropped a close match to Oregon's Douglas Mayeda, 7-5, 6-3.

"Chris had a couple chances to win that first set, but his opponent came up with some big shots," said Haworth. "But overall, he played really steady in the match."

In doubles action, freshmen Mario Navarro and James Russell outlasted Baptiste Faynot and Jose Izquierdo, 9-7 to nab a win at the No. 3 position.

"Mario and James played great at No. 3," said Haworth. "For their first college match, and the first match playing together, they worked really well as a team. They served well and maintained focus."

The Eagles will be back in action next weekend with another doubleheader on Saturday (Jan. 22) in Cheney, Wash. Eastern play Whitman at 9 a.m., followed by a matchup with Idaho at 5 p.m.

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