Eagles Celebrate a Couple Big Wins at the ITA All-American Pre-Qualifying Championship
Sophomore Joseph Cohen advances to third round with wins against Utah State and Oral Roberts, while freshman Eduardo Martinez records win over Oklahoma
Two members of the Eastern Washington University men’s tennis team traveled to Tulsa, Okla., over the weekend to compete in one of the largest collegiate tennis tournaments in the nation. Facing some top competition from around the country, sophomore Joseph Cohen and freshman Eduardo Martinez each recorded big wins on Saturday (Sept. 29) and Sunday (Sept. 30) at the ITA Men’s All-American Pre-Qualifying Championship.
Eastern was one of only two Big Sky schools represented at the event, which featured a total of 256 individuals.
“This was the first time Eastern has been to this tournament in the history of our tennis program,” said EWU head coach Darren Haworth. “We were a little unsure of what to expect, but we knew the competition would be tough and it turned out to be one of the greatest experiences I’ve had as a coach, and a great experience for the players.”
Cohen opened the tournament with a 7-6 (7), 6-2 victory against Utah State’s Sven Poslusny, who has played No. 1 for the Aggies for two-straight years.
“Joseph has not played a lot of matches over the last year and half due to injury,” said Haworth. “But he came back and played at the level I knew and always believed he could play when I first recruited him. He was able to get a huge win over an experienced senior from Utah State.”
Following his win in the first round against Poslusny, Cohen picked up another one against Braxton Bates of Oral Roberts. Cohen dropped the first set, 6-4, but battled back to win it all in three with a dominating 6,1, 6-0 performance in the final two sets.
Cohen’s run came to an end in the third round, where he lost to Adrian Forberg of Ole Miss, 6-2, 6-1.
After losing his first-round matchup to Hawaii’s Dmytro Kovolyav, freshman Eduardo Martinez rebounded win an inspiring win against Ryan Proctor of Oklahoma - a team ranked 10th in the nation at the end of the 2011-12 season. Martinez won in straight sets over Proctor, 7-5, 6-4.
“Any win you can pick up at this tournament is considered a big win, and we were able to pull off three of them this weekend,” said Haworth. “Our guys were exposed to a really high level of tennis, and I’m really proud of the way they competed. It was a great experience.”