8-8 Eagles back on the road and hoping for a strong showing in Boise
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Less than 48 hours after returning home from a trip to California, the Eastern Washington University men's tennis team will take off for another series of road matches this weekend in Boise, Idaho. The Eagles will compete in Boise State Spring Break Classic on Friday and Saturday (March 25-26).
Eastern is one of eight quality teams competing at the tournament in Boise. Two of the squads are ranked in the top 75 nationally, including No. 57 Idaho and No. 61 Boise State. The other five schools in the tourney are Ball State, Marquette, Portland, Saint Mary's and Wichita State.
In the first round, the Eagles will take on host-school Boise State at 8:30 a.m. Pacific time at the Appleton Tennis Center. The winner of that match will take on the winner of the Portland vs. Wichita State match at 1 p.m., while the losers of those first-round contests will play each another also at 1 p.m.
Each team in the tournament is guaranteed at least three matches. Times for Saturday have yet to be set, as they are dependent on the outcome of Friday's matches.
Eastern is at an even .500 in the 2011 season, with eight wins and eight losses in dual matches. The Eagles are 3-2 in Big Sky Conference action.
Although Eastern's overall record in singles play is just under .500 at 45-48 (.484), the team's success in doubles action has made up for the difference. EWU is 29-18 in doubles matches this year for an overall winning percentage of 61.7.
Eastern's No. 3 doubles pair of Chris Eriksson and James Russell is nearly flawless in the 2011 campaign. The duo has lost only two matches all year, one of which was to Washington – a team currently ranked 20th in the nation. Eriksson and Russell are 9-2 on the season, which ranks as one of the top 10 single-season records in EWU history. Only eight other pairs have won more games in a single season than Eriksson and Russell. The duo is currently riding a three-match winning streak after claiming both its matches last week in California against UCSB and Fresno City College.
Of the seven other teams competing at the Boise State Spring Break Classic this weekend, Eastern has already seen two in dual matches earlier in the year. The Eagles played and lost to both Idaho and Portland in late January. Despite big victories at No. 1 and 4 singles, the nationally-ranked Vandals managed to top EWU, 5-2 in Cheney. Portland beat Eastern, 6-1.