Eagles Split in Season-Opening Doubleheader
Eastern earns fourth-straight sweep of Whitworth, but also drops fourth match in a row against Idaho
The Eastern Washington University men’s tennis team made its 2013 debut with doubleheader against two regional rivals, and the Eags came away with one win and one loss on Sunday (Jan. 20) at the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse in Cheney, Wash.
To start the busy day, EWU suffered a 7-0 defeat to the Idaho Vandals, but Eastern was able to even its season record with a easy sweep of Whitworth.
“This time of year, playing two matches in one day is a good test to see where we’re at physically,” said EWU head coach Darren Haworth. “I think our guys held up pretty well. Overall, I was really pleased with the way we competed.”
The Eagles have played both Idaho and Whitworth as part of its non-conference slate for four-consecutive years. Eastern has swept the Pirates in each of those meetings, but dropped all four to the Vandals.
In the first match against Idaho, EWU celebrated a big win at No. 3 doubles, as freshmen Arturo Carpio and Eduardo Bringold prevailed in a tight match, 8-6.
Eastern’s No. 1 pair of sophomores Joseph Cohen and Eduardo Martinez also played a highly competitive match against Idaho’s nationally-ranked duo of Abid Akbar and Marius Cirstea. EWU had the match tied at 6-6, but could not hang on, as the Vandal pair, ranked first in the Mountain region and 46th nationally, won it, 8-6.
Idaho also earned an 8-5 victory at No. 2 doubles to take the first point of the day.
Highlighting singles action was Martinez at No. 2 and freshman Tomas Aranguiz at No. 3, both of whom managed to take a set off their opponents before eventually falling in three. Martinez charged back after dropping his first set to win the second set against Dmitry Perevoshchikov, 6-4. But Martinez ran out of steam in the third, falling 6-0.
Aranguiz started strong in his match against Cirstea, winning the opening set, 6-4. A freshman taking on a senior, Aranguiz was not able to sustain the momentum, as he lost the second and third sets, 6-3, 6-1.
“Eduardo and Tomas really competed at high level against some really experienced players,” said Haworth. “We knew Idaho was going to be good, but we played them tough.”
Cohen, playing in the top spot for EWU, was pitted against Akbar, who is ranked seventh in the Mountain Region. Although he fell in straight sets, Cohen was able to take five games off the challenging opponent.
For the fourth-straight year, EWU did not drop a single set to the Pirates. After the tough loss to Idaho, Cohen and Martinez dominated at No. 1 doubles against Whitworth, earning an 8-1 victory.
Aranguiz and senior Kyle Koetje crushed their opponent at No. 2, 8-0, and Carpio and Bringold prevailed at No. 3, 8-5.
Martinez played in the No. 1 singles spot against the Pirates, and came out with a 6-1, 6-1 decision over Cameron Williams.
Freshman Stefan Farrar made an appearance for EWU at No. 6, and the rookie swept his opponent, 6-0, 6-0.
Eastern will be back in action next weekend with two matches in Eugene, Ore. The Eagles take on No. 71 Oregon on Friday (Jan. 25), followed by a match against South Carolina Upstate on Saturday (Jan. 26).