Cuic Honored by Big Sky Conference

For the second week in a row, and third time this season, EWU men's tennis lays claim to weekly accolade

Sophomore Ilija Cuic of the Eastern Washington University men's tennis team has been selected as Big Sky Conference Player of the Week, which marks the third weekly honor of the season for EWU. Sophomore James Russell was recognized on Jan. 24, while senior Chad Henninger took home the award just last week.

Cuic, a native of Zagreb, Croatia, led Eastern to a thrilling 4-3 victory against Gonzaga on Feb. 22, while improving his overall singles record to 6-2. Playing No. 1 in both doubles and singles, Cuic and partner Kyle Koetje started off the night with a dominant 8-3 victory against GU's Vladimir Mijatovic and Olivier Jamin.

Cuic then went on to defeat Alvaro Nazal in straight sets at No. 1 singles. In the first set, Cuic managed to win out in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-5). The second set was also competitive, but Cuic had the edge, winning 6-4.

The Eagles, who have won four-straight against GU, improved to 7-3 on the season. But those three losses have all come against nationally-ranked opponents.

Cuic has played all eight of his matches this season at No. 1, earning a 6-2 overall record and perfect 3-0 mark in conference - the best records in the league for all players competing at No. 1 singles.

Eastern has a pair of matches this weekend against two familiar opponents in Lewis-Clark State and Idaho. The Eagles will take on LCSC on Friday (March 2) at 2 p.m. in Lewiston, followed by a showdown with Idaho on Saturday (March 3) in Moscow. Before dropping out of the most recent Campbell/ITA Division I Men's Tennis Rankings, the Vandals were ranked in the top 75 for six-consecutive weeks.

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