March 3, 2008

Eagle Tennis Squads Play Big Sky Matches This Weekend

March 3, 2008

Women's Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

The Eastern Washington University women's tennis team will bring a five-match winning streak into a pair of home Big Sky Conference matches this weekend.

The Eagles will take on Northern Colorado at 1 p.m. on Saturday (March 8) before facing Northern Arizona at 8 a.m. on Sunday (March 9).

Eastern's five-match streak is the team's longest since the 1993 squad set the school record with eight straight, starting that year with an 8-0 mark.

The Eagles are 2-0 in Big Sky play for the first time in school history and 5-5 overall.

The two most recent victories came by dominating 7-0 scores over Idaho State in a league match on Saturday (March 1) and then over Lewis-Clark State in a road contest the next day.

This week will mark one of the last chances to watch the Eagles play in Cheney. After this weekend's important Big Sky matches, Eastern will see its last two home contests come on March 18 against Inland Northwest foe Idaho and then on April 10 against Spokane-area rival Gonzaga.

The Eagles will close out the 2008 schedule with eight of its final nine matches being played away from Cheney. Two of those contests, however, will be played at Whitworth University on March 22 and 23, respectively, against Weber State and UC Santa Cruz.

Northern Colorado enters the week 3-7, 0-3 in Big Sky matches. Its most recent outing saw the Bears outlast UTEP 4-3. UNC will take on Idaho in Cheney the day prior to meeting the Eagles.

"We beat UNC 4-3 last season, and I expect the same kind of match on Saturday," interim head coach Darren Haworth said. "I think it is going to come down to the wire, and the doubles point is going to be important."

The Lumberjacks have had an outstanding season and nearly knocked off perennial Big Sky power and 49th-ranked Sacramento State on Feb. 15 before falling just short of snapping the Hornets' 43-match Big Sky winning streak, 4-3. In fact NAU became the first league team to avoid being shut out by Sac State in six years.

The Lumberjacks are 3-1 in league play and 9-7 overall. NAU will also take on Gonzaga the day before playing the Eagles - that contest will take place in Spokane.

"NAU is pretty tough this year," Haworth said. "They are a good team, and it will be interesting to see our girls compete against them. I think we'll surprise them in how well we will compete."

 

Where's the Match?

This time of the year, the Eagles are assured of playing each of their home matches indoors at the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse, which is located directly to the south of Reese Court, the home for Eastern's volleyball and basketball teams. It is located on the bottom floor of the facility right behind the racquetball courts.

When the weather warms up, contests will take place at the outside Sports and Recreation Center tennis courts, located between the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse and the varsity soccer field. Rain or cold temperatures will cause spring matches to be moved indoors.

 

The Record Books Get Rewritten

Four Eagles are among the top seven on the Eastern Washington career singles wins chart. Kasey Knox is third with 30 victories, while Rachel Berger has 26, good for fourth. In fifth is Kerstyn Dolack (24), while Amanda Mankovits is fifth (22) and Marie Demerath sits in eighth place with 18 wins.

 

Top-Notch Schedule for Eagles in 2008

The Eagles are taking on top competition in 2008, as five nationally-ranked squads are on the slate, including four straight right off the bat. In addition to already-played matches with No. 50 Washington State, No. 70 Washington, No. 42 Boise State and No. 67 Utah, Eastern Washington is scheduled to take on 49th-ranked Sacramento State in California's capital city on March 27. The Hornets have won 46 straight conference matches.

Also, three nationally-ranked singles players are scheduled to take on Eagles, as is one doubles squad. No. 91 Ekaterina Burduli of Washington State defeated Kasey Knox, 6-3, 6-2, on Jan. 19, while Bianca Jochimsen of Boise State (No. 81) defeated Sarah Leuenberger, 6-1, 6-3, on Feb. 9.

No. 63 Katrina Zheltova of Sacramento State is scheduled to take an Eagle opponent on March 27.

In doubles play, the 40th-ranked team of Polina Kokoulina and Pichitira Thongdach of Boise State topped Knox and Amanda Mankovits, 8-2, on Feb. 9.

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Men's Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

The Eastern Washington University men's tennis team will wrap up a three-match homestand this week with contests versus Idaho and Northern Colorado.

The Vandals play Eastern at 5 p.m. on Wednesday (March 5), while the Eagles and Northern Colorado will face off in a Big Sky Conference match at 9 a.m. on Saturday (March 8).

Eastern will ride a seven-match winning streak into this week's matches. That is the longest winning streak the Eagles have maintained since the 1985 squad claimed eight straight from March 2-April 12 of that year. Eastern Washington has never won more than eight in a row in the NCAA Division I era.

The Eagles are off to a 2-0 start in Big Sky play, their best-ever league start, and 7-2 overall. Their overall record is the only winning one in the Big Sky.

This week will mark the final time to watch the Eagles at home until April 11, as Eastern will play eight straight matches away from home.

Idaho has had a full schedule so far this year, as the Vandals will bring a 10-7 mark into Cheney. Most recently, Idaho has dropped two straight contests, falling to Gonzaga 5-2 on Friday (Feb. 29) and 5-0 to Wichita State on Feb. 24.

Northern Colorado, meanwhile, is just getting its 2008 schedule seriously under way, as the Bears have only played three matches and are 1-2 on the season. UNC defeated South Dakota State and lost to Denver and Air Force. This will be Northern Colorado's first conference match of the year. The Bears will take on Gonzaga on Friday (March 7) prior to meeting the Eagles.

"These are going to be tough matches," interim head coach Darren Haworth said. "We are going to need to make sure we come out and play solid in both doubles and singles."

 

Mam Sets School Record

With a 7-6, 6-1 straight-sets win over Idaho State's Marc Pijoan on Saturday (March 1), junior Pannhara Mam rewrote the Eagle record book, as he took over sole possession of the school record for wins in a career with 34.

He, however, does have several other current Eagles nipping at his heels. Junior Art Karas used a 6-1, 6-3 win on Saturday to tie Jason Chapman (1992-95) for the second spot with 33 victories, while senior Patrick Millican has 30 and junior Kyle Schraeder has 29 to take spots four and five, respectively, on the list.

In doubles play, Mam and Schraeder have teamed up for 21 career wins to take over the top spot in that category. Jonathan Davis and Millican are in the second spot on that chart with 17 victories.

 

Where's the Match?

This time of the year, the Eagles are assured of playing each of their home matches indoors at the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse, which is located directly to the south of Reese Court, the home for Eastern's volleyball and basketball teams. It is located on the bottom floor of the facility right behind the racquetball courts.

When the weather warms up, contests will take place at the outside Sports and Recreation Center tennis courts, located between the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse and the varsity soccer field. Rain or cold temperatures cause spring matches to be moved indoors.

 

Top-Notch Schedule for Eagles in 2008

The Eagles are taking on top-notch competition this year, playing five matches versus top-75 opponents.

After playing No. 68 BYU in a 4-3 road loss on Jan. 19, the Eagles are set to play No. 27 Washington and No. 53 Fresno State on March 14 and 26, respectively.

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