Men’s Tennis Splits Pair Of Road Matches To Open Big Sky Play

The Eastern Washington men's tennis team split a pair of road matches in its first weekend of Big Sky Conference play, falling to Northern Colorado before rebounding to defeat North Dakota.

Eastern (5-5, 1-1 Big Sky) opened the week at Northern Colorado on Friday, Feb. 28, falling to the Bears, 5-2. The Eagles bounced back to defeat North Dakota, 4-3, on Sunday, Mar. 1.

"I'm really proud of the way this team competed on a tough road trip," head coach Darren Haworth said. "Credit to UNC who is much improved and competed very well in a great match. We're getting some good wins in singles matches, and it's now a matter of putting together a collective team showing."

Sophomore Eduardo Bringold and freshman Wacil Bendjelti picked up singles victories in both of Eastern's matches while freshmen Robert Dula and Matt Boyle were victorious against North Dakota.

Against Northern Colorado on Friday, the Eagles narrowly lost the doubles point, extending the No. 2 and No. 3 matches to tiebreakers.

Bringold was victorious in the No. 2 position versus the Bears' Mitchel Knight 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 while Bendjelti defeated Jordan Loughnan 6-4, 6-4, in the fourth position.

Both Boyle and junior Stefan Farrar saw their singles matches extended to tiebreakers while Dula fell to UNC's Ben Gendron 7-5, 7-6 in the top position.

Against North Dakota on Sunday, Eastern once again came close to taking the doubles point, winning in the No. 3 position while the first position saw the Eagles come out on the wrong side of a tiebreaker.

Despite the setback, EWU would win four of the six singles matches, including the top two positions. Dula cruised past UND's top player, Ryan McGuigan 6-1, 6-1 while Bringold bested Connor Oberle 6-2, 6-4.

Bendjelti won in the No. 4 position, defeating Grant Bakke 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 while Boyle sealed the match victory by besting David Bergstrom in a hard-fought match 7-5, 7-6 (7-4).

Eastern returns to the court on Friday, Mar. 7, when Idaho State visits Cheney for a 5 p.m. match.

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