Cheney, Wash. – The Eastern Washington men's tennis team split a pair of home matches this week, besting Seattle on Thursday, Jan. 23, before falling to Idaho on Saturday, Jan. 25.
Eastern now sits at 3-2 in the spring season after two weeks of competition. The Eagles defeated the Redhawks, 4-3, to open the week before falling to Idaho, 7-0.
"The team has continued to improve in every match," head coach Darren Haworth said. "We can take away something every time we step on the court. We played well against a tough Seattle squad, and it came down to who wanted it more. Idaho has a very talented team, and we competed well. We need to continue to bring the intensity to each match."
Against Seattle on Thursday, EWU won a tightly contested doubles point, winning two tie breakers in the first and third positions, respectively. Freshman Wacil Bendjelti and sophomore Luke Thompson won over SU's pairing, 6-4, in the second position.
Freshman Robert Dula continued his impressive start by winning a hard-fought match over Seattle's No. 1 Kevin Lynch 6-1, 1-6, 6-3. Thompson and Bendjelti also picked up singles wins in the third and four positions, respectively, as Thompson won in two sets while Bendjelti bested Ian Clare 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
The Eagles faced a tough opponent in Idaho on Saturday, showing a lot of fight against quality opponents. Playing in the top doubles position, Dula and Thompson fell, 6-4, while freshmen Rendelle Burghart and Luke Ness lost by the same score in the third position.
Thompson had the most success in singles, extending his battle with Artemiy Nikitin to a tie breaker before falling 6-5, 5-6, 1-0. Dula dropped a close battle with Idaho's top player, Jose Bendeck, 6-3, 6-4.
Eastern returns to the court on Saturday, Feb. 1, when Lewis-Clark State comes to Cheney for a match at 11 a.m.