Eagles Down Northern Colorado, 6-1, in Big Sky Conference Opener

Men's tennis wins two matches in one day against Northern Colorado and Seattle

The Eastern Washington University men's tennis team breezed through its 2012 Big Sky Conference opener, defeating the Bears of Northern Colorado, 6-1, on Saturday (Feb. 4) in Cheney, Wash. The Eagles also picked up a non-conference victory against Seattle in the second half of its Saturday doubleheader.

Against the Bears, sophomore Ilija Cuic and junior Kyle Koetje gutted out a big win at No. 1 doubles, as the Eagle pair prevailed in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (7-5).

Sophomores Mario Navarro and James Russell bested UNC's Ryan Lane and Jordan Loughnan at No. 2, 8-5, while seniors Chad Henninger and Julian Sanchez took care of business at No. 3 doubles against Jeff Carlson and Michael Moya, 8-3.

In singles action, EWU won five of the six matches in straight sets. Cuic picked up his second win of the day against Lupo with a 6-4, 6-3 decision at No. 1, while Russell topped Lane at No. 2, 6-3, 6-2.

Henninger and Sanchez remained undefeated on the season with victories at No. 4 and 5, respectively.

Henninger had the edge in a competitive match against UNC's Ben Gendron, winning 7-6 (7-5), 7-5. After beating him in doubles, Sanchez topped Moya again in singles, 6-3, 6-4.

At No. 6 singles, Koetje made quick work of Andre Lepine, 6-1, 6-1.

The only blemish in the scorebook for EWU came at No. 3 singles, as Navarro dropped a three-setter to Carlson. After losing his first set, 6-4, Navarro rallied for a 7-5 victory in the second. But in the decisive third, Carlson managed to pull through with a 6-4 decision.

Almost immediately following the 6-1 victory over UNC, the Eagles played non-conference rival Seattle in an abbreviated match. Due to time constraints, the teams skipped doubles, and played singles only until the match was decided by the first team to reach four points.

Eastern did so with victories by Cuic, Russell, Navarro and Henninger. Cuic won in three sets at No.1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, as did Navarro at No. 3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Russell beat SU's Kevin Lynch at No. 2, 6-4, 6-2, and Henninger improved his season record to 4-0 with a 6-3, 6-4 decision over Jason Bediones.

The Eagles will continue Big Sky Conference action next weekend as they take on Idaho State on Saturday (Feb. 11) at 10 a.m. in the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse in Cheney.


Eastern Washington 6, Northern Colorado 1
02/04/12 at Pullman, Wash. (Jim Thorpe Filedhouse)

1. CUIC, Ilija (EWU-M) def. LUPO, Brandon (UNC) 6-4, 6-3
2. RUSSELL, James (EWU-M) def. LANE, Ryan (UNC) 6-3, 6-2
3. CARLSON, Jeff (UNC) def. NAVARRO, Mario (EWU-M) 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
4. HENNINGER, Chad (EWU-M) def. GENDRON, Ben (UNC) 7-6 (7-5), 7-5
5. SANCHEZ, Julian (EWU-M) def. MOYA, Michael (UNC) 6-3, 6-4
6. KOETJE, Kyle (EWU-M) def. LEPINE, Andre (UNC) 6-1, 6-1

1. KOETJE, Kyle/CUIC, Ilija (EWU-M) def. LUPO, Brandon/GENDRON, Ben (UNC) 9-8 (7-5)
2. NAVARRO, Mario/RUSSELL, James (EWU-M) def. LANE, Ryan/LOUGHNAN, Jordan (UNC) 8-5
3. HENNINGER, Chad/SANCHEZ, Julian (EWU-M) def. CARLSON, Jeff/MOYA, Michael (UNC) 8-3

Eastern Washington 4, Seattle 0
02/04/12 at Cheney, Wash. (Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse)

1. CUIC, Ilija (EWU-M) def. Andrew Anderson (SEA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
2. RUSSELL, James (EWU-M) def. Kevin Lynch (SEA) 6-4, 6-2
3. NAVARRO, Mario (EWU-M) def. Flavio Malagutti (SEA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
4. HENNINGER, Chad (EWU-M) def. Jason Bediones (SEA) 6-3, 6-4
5. SANCHEZ, Julian (EWU-M) vs. Yusuke Kanehira (SEA) 5-4, unfinished
6. KOETJE, Kyle (EWU-M) vs. Kyle Rapp (SEA) 5-4, unfinished

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