Sophomore from London, England, has a near flawless weekend with back-to-back wins at No. 1 singles and one more in doubles
The Eastern Washington University men’s tennis team came away from a busy weekend in Eugene, Ore., with two tough losses, but individually, the Eagles celebrated several big wins.
In a match against the nationally-ranked Oregon Ducks, sophomore Joseph Cohen took down UO’s top player in three competitive sets. Picking up his first singles win of the year, Cohen defeated Jeff Mullen at No. 1, 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (10-5).
“That was a huge, huge win for Joe and for our program,” said EWU head coach Darren Haworth. “For him to come in and get a win at No. 1 against a very talented opponent shows some great leadership. He played really tough and stuck in there mentally. He battled through a sprained ankle to finish the job.”
Cohen was the only Eagle to record a win against the No. 72 Ducks, as Eastern’s No. 1 - 5 players all fell in straight sets. Oregon also won the doubles point to take the match, 6-1.
Senior Kyle Koetje did force two tiebreakers in the match - one in doubles and one at No. 4 singles. Koetje, with partner Tomas Aranguiz, dropped a very narrow one to UO’s Alex Rovello and Daan Maasland at No. 2 doubles, 8-7 (3).
Koetje then played Maasland again at No. 4 singles, and forced another tiebreaker in the second set of that match. But Maasland proved to have the edge, winning it 6-2, 7-6 (4).
On Saturday (Jan. 26), EWU played South Carolina Upstate for the first time in program history. The Eagles won at No. 1, 2 and 3 singles, but USC Upstate managed to nab the doubles point which proved to be the difference in the match.
“It was a tough loss, but it was great for us in terms of seeing what areas we need to work on,” said Haworth. “I’d rather lose a 4-3 match at this point in the season, and use it to build on in practice. We will definitely hit it hard over the next couple weeks, working on the some of the weaknesses that were exposed this weekend.”
Cohen and fellow sophomore Eduardo Martinez won their match at No. 1 doubles fairly easily with an 8-3 decision. But Eastern’s No. 2 pair of Koetje and Aranguiz suffered an 8-5 defeat at the hands of USC Upstate's Gonzalo Blanco and Yvon Haessig.
The No. 3 spot for Eastern was filled by a pair of freshmen in Arturo Carpio and Eduardo Bringold. The young Eagle duo battled every point, but ended up falling in a tiebreaker, 8-7 (0).
In singles play, Cohen downed his opponent at No. 1, 6-3, 6-2, while Martinez also won in straight sets at No. 2, 6-4, 6-1.
Aranguiz outlasted Blanco in a thrilling match at No. 3, 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6). But Koetje at No. 4, Bringold at No. 5 and freshman Luke Thompson at No. 6 all dropped their matches in straight sets, resulting in the 4-3 loss for EWU.
“We continued to play really well at 1, 2 and 3, and now it’s just a matter of figuring out who is going to step up at 4, 5 and 6,” said Haworth.
Eastern will stay on the road for its next two matches, as it travels to the West side to take on Washington on Friday (Feb. 8) and Seattle on Saturday (Feb. 9).