Eagles fight through injuries in competitive tourney on the west side
The Eastern Washington University men's tennis team only had a few members playing at full strength last weekend at the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships in Seattle, Wash., but those that were healthy had a strong showing at the event.
Sophomore James Russell celebrated a big win over Oregon's Doug Mayeda in the first round of the tourney. Russell rallied back after dropping the first set to take the match in three, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3.
"That was a great win for James," applauded EWU head coach Darren Haworth. "He was serving the ball extremely well this weekend in both singles and doubles."
Seniors Chad Henninger and Julian Sanchez also won their opening-round matchups, both in straight sets. Henninger topped Portland State's Nick Fracchia, 6-4, 6-1, while Sanchez bested Yusuke Kanehira of Seattle, 6-1, 6-4.
In the round of 64, Sanchez was pitted against Alex Rovello from Oregon, who managed to get by Sanchez, 6-2, 6-0. Henninger also lost to a tough opponent from Oregon in his second match, 6-4, 6-0. Despite the short run, Haworth was pleased with what he saw out of both players.
"Chad and Julian are continuing to play good, consistent tennis," said Haworth. "They are both striking the ball really well."
Junior Kyle Koetje lost his opener to Seattle's Andrew Anderson, 6-2, 6-1. But in the consolation bracket, Koetje outlasted his former teammate, Flavio Malagutti, who now plays for SU, by a score of 4-6, 6-3, 10-8.
In doubles action, Russell and partner Chris Eriksson took down Portland State's Marx and Mishra, 8-6. Last year in conference play, Russell and Eriksson rolled through doubles, losing only one match the entire season.
In Seattle, the Eagle duo eventually bowed out in the round of 64 to Saint Mary's Dawson-Roberts and Norstrom, 8-4.
Eastern will conclude its fall season at the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Invitational in Eugene, Ore., Nov. 4-6.