Kyle Koetje records pair of victories for the Eagles, whose late rally comes up short versus Grizzlies
Eastern Washington University seized momentum by earning the doubles point, but Montana was victorious in the first three completed singles matches and edged Eastern 4-3 Friday (April 12) at the EWU Outdoor Tennis Courts in Cheney, Wash.
The match was a key one for the Eagles in terms of positioning for the six-team Big Sky Conference Tournament later this month. The Eagles fell to 4-5 in the league and 8-12 overall, while Montana improved to 7-1 in the BSC and 7-6 overall.
Eastern senior Kyle Koetje picked up wins at No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles (with sophomore Joseph Cohen) as he improved to 8-12 on the season in singles competition. Cohen improved to 12-3 with a win at No. 1 singles, and Eastern’s No. 3 doubles team of Eduardo Bringold and Tomas Aranguiz also picked up a win.
“It was a good battle – Kyle played exceptionally well,” said Eastern head coach Darren Haworth, whose team hosts Portland State in another Big Sky match on Saturday. “Our team competed well against a good team heading into our match against Portland State. If everyone comes ready to compete, we’ll have a good shot at winning.”
A season-ending dislocated kneecap injury last week suffered by No. 2 singles player Eduardo Martinez forced Haworth to juggle his lineup, including all three of his doubles tandems. But an 8-3 victory by Cohen/Koetje broke a 1-1 tie in doubles competition and gave the Eagles the doubles point heading into singles play.
Montana won singles matches at Nos. 5, 6 and 2 to open a 3-1 lead. After Cohen picked up a come-from-behind 4-6, 6-0, 6-0 win, Montana clinched it when Bringold lost 6-2, 6-7, 6-1 at No. 4. Koetje provided Eastern’s final point of the day with another come-from-behind victory, winning 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.