March 5, 2008
Daniel Pez showed his ability to come through in the clutch was no fluke, as the junior broke a 3-3 tie for the second time in five matches with a clutch three-set win. After doing so in a 4-3 Big Sky Conference victory at Montana State on Feb. 22, he did it again in a 4-3 home win over Inland Northwest foe Idaho on Wednesday night (March 5).
The win was Eastern's eighth in a row, tying the most consecutive wins earned by an Eagle team in the NCAA Division I era. The 1985 squad also won eight straight from March 2-April 12 of that year. In fact, EWU has won eight matches in an entire season just six times (2008, 2007, 2006, 1992, 1988 and 1985). One more win will give Eastern its fourth-highest total in history.
With the score knotted tonight and every other match completed, Pez's opponent, Hugh McDonald, claimed a second-set tiebreaker before Pez pulled away in the third for a 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 victory. Two weeks ago, a 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 win earned Eastern a 4-3 win in its first Big Sky match of the year. Pez is a perfect 8-0 in singles play and 1-0 in doubles action this year.
The match went back-and-forth all night. The Eagles took the pivotal doubles point by taking the first two matches to finish by identical 8-6 scores before the Vandals' No. 1 team secured an 8-6 victory of its own.
After Idaho took the No. 1 singles contest, Eastern secured the next two matches to finish to take a commanding 3-1 lead (Kenneth Norling was victorious at 3, while Art Karas won on court four). Then the Vandals had a comeback win at No. 2 before tying the score 3-3 with a straight-sets victory in the sixth position.
The Eagles finish off a stretch of three straight home matches and six-of-nine in Cheney with a Big Sky match versus Northern Colorado (1-2) at 9 a.m. on Saturday (March 8). The Bears will play at Gonzaga the day before meeting the Eagles. Eastern will then play its next eight matches away from the EWU campus before returning April 11.
Idaho vs Eastern Washington
3/5/08 at Cheney, Wash.
Eastern Washington 4, Idaho 3
1. Andrey Potapkin (UI) def. Pannhara Mam (EWU) 6-2, 6-0
2. Stanislav Glukhov (UI) def. Nico Riego de Dios (EWU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
3. Kenneth Norling (EWU) def. Robert Chalkley (UI) 6-3, 6-3
4. Art Karas (EWU) def. Timothy Huynh (UI) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1
5. Daniel Pez (EWU) def. Hugh McDonald (UI) 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3
6. Andrew Dobbs (UI) def. Patrick Millican (EWU) 6-2, 6-4
1. Andrey Potapkin/Stanislav Glukhov (UI) def. Pannhara Mam/Kenneth Norling (EWU) 8-6
2. Jonathan Davis/Patrick Millican (EWU) def. Robert Chalkley/Timothy Huynh (UI) 8-6
3. Art Karas/Nico Riego de Dios (EWU) def. Hugh McDonald/Andrew Dobbs (UI) 8-6
Eastern Washington 8-2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (1,3,4,2,6,5)