Eagles Take Down Portland State, 7-0, For Third-Straight Conference Win
Eastern also played No. 69 Oregon on west coast swing
The Eastern Washington University men's tennis team traveled to Oregon this weekend for a non-conference match against Oregon, followed by Big Sky showdown versus Portland State. On Friday (Feb. 17) in Eugene, Ore., Eastern fell to the 69th-ranked Ducks, 6-1. But the team rebounded well, as it blanked Portland State, 7-0, less than 24 hours later.
The Eagles are now 6-3 overall and a perfect 3-0 in Big Sky Conference play.
Eastern's No. 1 doubles pair of Ilija Cuic and Kyle Koetje got things rolling on Saturday against the Vikings with a quick 8-2 victory against Mitch Somach and Alec Marx, 8-2. Seniors Chad Henninger and Julian Sanchez then clinched the doubles point for EWU with an 8-4 win at No. 3.
In singles, Eastern did not drop a single set to the Vikings. Navarro was the first to finish, as he made quick work of Somach at No. 3, 7-5, 6-1. Cuic followed with a 7-5, 6-3 decision over PSU's Roman Margoulis.
After edging his opponent in a tiebreaker in the first set, Russell went on to win his match at No. 2, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.
Henninger also endured a tiebreaker at No. 4 singles, but eventually took care of business against Marx, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6). The win was Henninger's seventh-straight to start the 2011-12 campaign. He currently owns the best overall singles record in the Big Sky Conference at 7-0.
To wrap up the sweep for EWU, Sanchez and Koetje celebrated two easy wins at No. 5 and 6, respectively. Sanchez topped Nick Fracchia, 6-1, 6-2, while Koetje bested Zach Lubek, 6-4, 6-1.
The day before, Eastern had quite a commendable showing against the nationally-ranked Ducks, highlighted by Henninger's performance at No. 4 singles. A native of Eugene, Ore., Henninger had a sweet homecoming, as he downed UO's Jose Izquierdo in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5.
Eastern nearly had a win in doubles as well, as Navarro and Russell fell just short in a tiebreaker at No. 2. Izquierdo and partner Alex Rovello, who ranks in the top 125 in singles, beat the Eagle duo, 8-7 (7-2).
In singles, Cuic was pitted against No. 122 Rovello at No. 1. Cuic lost the match 6-2, 6-2, but it was only his second defeat this season. His only other loss was to another nationally-ranked opponent in No. 34 James Meredith of Boise State.
Russell fell at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-3, while Navarro suffered a similar fate at No. 3, losing to Daniel Sardu, 6-4, 6-1.
Sanchez forced a tiebreaker in the first set against Aaron Clissold at No. 5, but Clissold proved to have the edge, as he won the match 7-6, 6-3.
Koetje also lost in straight sets at No. 6, 6-2, 6-2.
The Eagles will be back in action next Wednesday (Feb. 22) when they host Gonzaga at 5 p.m. at the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse in Cheney, Wash. Eastern won two matches against the Zags during the 2011 season, but both were close affairs - a 4-3 victory in Spokane and a 4-2 win in Cheney.
Eastern Washington 7, Portland State 0
02/18/12 at Vancouver, Wash. (Club Green Meadows)
1. CUIC, Ilija (EWU-M) def. MARGOULIS, Roman (PSU) 7-5, 6-3
2. RUSSELL, James (EWU-M) def. MISHRA, Abhinav (PSU) 7-6 (7-2), 6-3
3. NAVARRO, Mario (EWU-M) def. SOMACH, Mitch (PSU) 7-5, 6-1
4. HENNINGER, Chad (EWU-M) def. MARX, Alec (PSU) 6-3, 7-6 (8-6)
5. SANCHEZ, Julian (EWU-M) def. FRACCHIA, Nick (PSU) 6-1, 6-2
6. KOETJE, Kyle (EWU-M) def. LUBEK, Zach (PSU) 6-4, 6-1
1. CUIC, Ilija/KOETJE, Kyle (EWU-M) def. SOMACH, Mitch/MARX, Alec (PSU) 8-2
2. MARGOULIS, Roman/MISHRA, Abhinav (PSU) def. NAVARRO, Mario/RUSSELL, James (EWU-M) 8-6
3. SANCHEZ, Julian/HENNINGER, Chad (EWU-M) def. FRACCHIA, Nick/LUBEK, Zach (PSU) 8-4
Eastern Washington 6-3, 3-0 BSC
Portland State 1-7, 0-3 BSC
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,1,2,4,5,6)
#69 Oregon 6, Eastern Washington 1
02/17/12 at Eugene, Ore. (Student Tennis Center)
1. #122 ROVELLO, Alex (ORE) def. CUIC, Ilija (EWU-M) 6-2, 6-2
2. CAMBIER, Robin (ORE) def. RUSSELL, James (EWU-M) 6-1, 6-3
3. SARDU, Daniel (ORE) def. NAVARRO, Mario (EWU-M) 6-4, 6-1
4. HENNINGER, Chad (EWU-M) def. IZQUIERDO, Jose (ORE) 6-2, 7-5
5. CLISSOLD, Aaron (ORE) def. SANCHEZ, Julian (EWU-M) 7-6, 6-3
6. HIGUCHI, Sho (ORE) def. KOETJE, Kyle (EWU-M) 6-2, 6-2
1. MULLEN, Jeff/CAMBIER, Robin (ORE) def. CUIC, Ilija/KOETJE, Kyle (EWU-M) 8-2
2. ROVELLO, Alex/IZQUIERDO, Jose (ORE) def. NAVARRO, Mario/RUSSELL, James (EWU-M) 8-7 (7-2)
3. MAYEDA, Douglas/SARDU, Daniel (ORE) def. HENNINGER, Chad/SANCHEZ, Julian (EWU-M) 8-2
Eastern Washington 5-3
Oregon 7-0; National ranking #69
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,6,1,3,4,5)