Cohen picks up win No. 10 in singles action, while Eagles extend winning streak to six
The streak continues for the Eastern Washington University men’s tennis team, who won its sixth-consecutive match on Thursday (March 28) afternoon in Flagstaff, Ariz. EWU bested the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona, 5-2, to wrap up a successful three-match road swing.
EWU also defeated Seattle U and Southern Utah during the spring break trip. Eastern will now return to Cheney to play its final five matches of the 2013 campaign at home.
Marking its fourth match in six days, EWU will host New Mexico State this Sunday (March 31) at the outdoor tennis courts in Cheney. In the case of inclement weather, the match will be played indoors at Whitworth University in Spokane.
The Eagles now own a 7-9 overall record and a 4-3 mark in Big Sky play, which puts the team in the top five of the conference standings. EWU is aiming to stay at least there through the duration of the year, as the top six teams at the end of the regular season earn a bid to the 2013 Big Sky Conference Championships, held April 26-28 in Sacramento, Calif.
“We are really starting to come together as a team,” said EWU head coach Darren Haworth. “Everyone is doing a really good job of supporting each another. When some people are having a touch match, we have had others step up. We have such a young team this year, so it is really great to see them doing so well right now.”
The Eagles were able to gain an early advantage in Thursday’s match after capturing the crucial doubles point.
EWU’s No. 3 team of Tomas Aranguiz and Kyle Koetje gave Eastern its first win with an 8-4 decision over NAU’s Martin Robert and Trevor Unger. But the Lumberjacks evened it right back up when their No. 2 pair bested EWU’s freshmen duo of Eduardo Bringold and Aaron Lince by a score of 8-4.
The doubles point came down to sophomores Joseph Cohen and Eduardo Martinez at No. 1. Coming in on a four-match winning streak, the duo kept it alive with an 8-5 victory against Kester Black and Shuan Waters.
“NAU has always been very strong in doubles,” said Haworth. “We were on-serve for the first couple games, and our guys just stayed tough and rallied behind one another.”
After securing the doubles point, EWU actually fell behind early in singles when Koetje dropped a 6-3, 6-2 decision at No. 2, and Aranguiz fell in straight sets at No. 3, 6-3, 6-0.
But Martinez was able to give his team some momentum when he downed Waters at No. 2, 6-1, 6-4.
“Eduardo is one of the best competitors we have had in this program,” said Haworth. “He gets extremely fired up in matches, and is just tough.”
Sophomore Stefan Farrar then took care of business at No. 6, recording a 6-3, 6-3 win over NAU’s Sarp Laleli.
“Stefan has been rock-solid at No. 6,” said Haworth. “He doesn’t miss a lot of balls, and just grinds it out. He has stayed mentally tough in his matches, and that is what you need at the six-spot.”
Farrar has now won five singles matches in a row for the Eags for an overall season record of 8-4.
Cohen provided the match-clinching win at No. 1, which also happened to be his 10th victory of the 2013 campaign. Cohen beat Patrick Schimmelbauer in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
Along with a team-leading 10-3 overall record, Cohen boasts a perfect 5-0 mark in conference play, all at the No. 1 spot. He has not dropped a match since Feb. 15 against Portland - eight wins in a row for the London, England native.
“Joe is serving much better than he was at the beginning of the year,” said Haworth. “Being able to hold his service games allows him to really go for shots and just play a little more relaxed then when his opponent is serving.”
Although the match was already decided, Bringold had a gutty performance at No. 5, as he outlasted Black in three competitive sets. Bringold took the opener, 7-5, but then dropped the second set, 6-2. In the rubber game, the freshman prevailed, 6-4, for his fourth Big Sky win of the season.