Eagles Look To Get Back On Track In Homestand Finale

After losing their last six matches, the Eagles will look to get back on track with three-straight matches at home this weekend


Upcoming Schedule

Date - Opponent - Time/Pacific
April 9 – Weber State – 3 p.m.
April 10 – Northern Arizona – 2 p.m.
April 11 – Seattle – 1 p.m.


By Keenan Bowen, EWU Sports Information

The Eastern Washington University men’s tennis team will look to keep their post-season hopes alive this week as it takes on Weber State on Friday April 9, Northern Arizona on April 10, and Seattle on April 11 in its last homestand of the season.

Barring bad weather, the matches will be played outside at the tennis courts on the EWU campus. Otherwise, the matches will be played in the Thorpe Fieldhouse.

The Eagles enter the match on a six match losing-streak, as they dropped every match on their most recent road trip that saw them match up with some very tough teams – including nationally-ranked Washington and Santa Clara. Eastern is 5-11 overall on the season and is 2-2 in the Big Sky Conference, currently tied for fifth-place with Montana. Only the top four teams advance to the conference tournament.

“These next four conference matches, especially the two this weekend, are very important for us,” said head coach Darren Haworth. “We really need to win all four to give ourselves a shot at the conference tournament. Everybody is 100 percent and ready to finish out the season strong.”

Weber State enters Fridays match 8-10 overall and 5-1 in the conference. The Wildcats have reeled off three-straight wins, all against Big Sky opponents. They are currently in second place in the conference standings.

Northern Arizona enters Saturdays match 9-8 overall and 4-2 in the conference. The Lumberjacks have struggled as of late, having dropped four of their last five matches. The Lumberjacks are the only conference member to knock of Sacramento State this season.

The Eagles will step outside of conference play Sunday with one last non-conference match-up against Seattle. The Redhawks are 5-10 on the season and most recently lost 5-4 to Pacific Lutheran on March 19. 

Sunday will also serve as senior day for the Eagles, as lone senior Nico Riego de Dios will play his last home match for EWU.

After the three matches this weekend, the Eagles will hit the road for matches against Montana on April 16 and Montana State on April 17 to finish out the regular-season.

 

Lone Senior: Eagle senior Nico Riego de Dios is currently tied for fourth all-time at Eastern with 39 career singles wins, and needs just one more to move into sole possession of fourth place. Former teammate Daniel Pez (2007-09) is tied with Riego de Dios as he finished his career last season with 39 career singles wins.

 

Brazilian Duo: Fernando Mussolini and Flavio Malagutti, both true freshmen from Brazil, have hit the ground running this season and amassed a 15-6 overall record in singles before the last road trip saw them lose a combined 13 straight matches against heavy competition.

Mussolini, along with Chad Henninger, leads all Eagles in singles wins with eight on the season. Malagutti has the third-most wins on the team with seven. 

 

Three Of A Kind: Henninger, Malagutti and Mussolini all went 3-0 in their first three singles matches of the season.

All three picked up their third win Feb. 7 at Gonzaga, and did so in impressive fashion. In No. 3 singles, Mussolini dropped his first set 4-6 to Roman Dojcak, but stormed back to win the next two sets by a 6-3 score. 

In the No. 4 singles spot, Henninger lost a close first set 6-7 to Scott Sullivan, but responded with a close 7-6 victory in the second set and pulled away in the third set with a 6-2 final score. 

Like the others, Malagutti dropped his first set in the No. 6 singles spot against Jake Davis, but ended up tying things up by winning the second set 6-3. Malagutti and Davis battled in the third set, and Malagutti emerged with a 13-11 victory.

 

First time: Eagles freshmen Kyle Koetje, Mussolini, and Malagutti picked up their first singles wins of their career Jan. 31 against Lewis-Clark State.

Mussolini, playing as the No. 3 singles player, defeated Oliver Sindayigaya by the score of 6-3, 7-5. He also teamed-up with partner Julian Sanchez to earn a doubles victory.

Stefan Simikic picked up his first singles victory as an Eagle. Simikic transferred from Boise State, where he posted a 1-2 singles record last season in limited action.

 

Links:

Eastern Tennis -- http://goeags.com/sports/m-tennis/index
Stats & Results -- http://goeags.com/sports/m-tennis/2009-10/statistics/teamstat.htm
Big Sky Conference Tennis -- http://bigskyconf.com/index.aspx?tab=tennis2&path=mten
NCAA Tennis -- http://www.ncaa.com/sports/m-tennis/ncaa-m-tennis-body.html
More Information and Links are Available at: HTTP://WWW.GOEAGS.COM 

Recent EWU Men’s Tennis Headlines . . .
March 23, 2010 – No. 43 Broncos Stifle Eagles 7-0
March 12, 2010 - No. 18 Huskies Shutdown Eagles
March 4, 2010 - Eagles Get Revenge With 6-1 Win Over Gonzaga
February 26, 2010 - Eagles Earn 6-1 Win Over Idaho State
February 21, 2010 - Vandals Top Eagles 4-2
February 20, 2010 - Eagles Break Skid With 7-0 Victory Over Bears
February 14, 2010 - Gaels Defeat Eagles 5-2
February 13, 2010 - Vikings Edge Eagles 4-3 In BSC Opener
February 12, 2010 - Eagles Shut Down 7-0 By Ducks
February 7, 2010 - Bulldogs Sneak Past Eagles 4-3
February 3, 2010 - Eagles Take Care Of Pirates 7-0
January 31, 2010 - Eagles Open 2009-10 Season With 7-0 Victory
January 28, 2010 - SEASON OUTLOOK: Eagles Eager To Begin 2009-10 Season
November 17, 2009 - Eastern Competes Well in Seattle
October 25, 2009 - Eagle Men and Women Play in ITA Regionals
October 4, 2009 - Riego de Dios has Strong Weekend for Eagles

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