January 26, 2011

Mussolini Wins Initial Big Sky Player of the Week Honors

Sophomore recognized after stellar performance against nationally-ranked Idaho

Sophomore Fernando Mussolini of the Eastern Washington University men's tennis team was honored as the first tennis Big Sky Player of the Week for the 2011 season. This is the second weekly award for Mussolini, as he was also recognized by the league on Feb. 24, 2010.

Mussolini, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, went 2-0 at No. 1 singles last weekend, which included one of the biggest victories in Eastern Washington men's tennis history. Mussolini defeated Idaho's Marius Cirstea, who is ranked 57th in the nation and 17th in the mountain region.

Mussolini beat Cirstea in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5. He is the first player under head coach Darren Haworth to beat a nationally-ranked player (top 100), and believed to be the first Eagle to do so since Eastern became a member of NCAA Division I.

Prior to his notable win over Cirstea, Mussolini downed Andrew La Cava of Whitman, 6-2, 6-2. He also nabbed a win in doubles play with partner Julian Sanchez. The duo topped Whitman's pair of La Cava and Holton-Burke, 8-6.

Mussolini is currently undefeated in singles play in the 2011 season, with three wins at No. 1 and one at No. 2. He is 3-1 in doubles.

The Eagles will return to action this Saturday (Jan. 29) when they travel to Portland to take on the Pilots in a dual match starting at 4 p.m. Portland will play its first match of the year on Friday against Eastern's Big Sky foe, Weber State.

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