The Eastern Washington men's tennis team split a pair of road matches in its first weekend of Big Sky Conference play, falling to Northern Colorado before rebounding to defeat North Dakota.
Eastern (5-5, 1-1 Big Sky) opened the week at Northern Colorado on Friday, Feb. 28, falling to the Bears, 5-2. The Eagles bounced back to defeat North Dakota, 4-3, on Sunday, Mar. 1.
"I'm really proud of the way this team competed on a tough road trip," head coach Darren Haworth said. "Credit to UNC who is much improved and competed very well in a great match. We're getting some good wins in singles matches, and it's now a matter of putting together a collective team showing."
Against Northern Colorado on Friday, the Eagles narrowly lost the doubles point, extending the No. 2 and No. 3 matches to tiebreakers.
Bringold was victorious in the No. 2 position versus the Bears' Mitchel Knight 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 while Bendjelti defeated Jordan Loughnan 6-4, 6-4, in the fourth position.
Both Boyle and junior Stefan Farrar saw their singles matches extended to tiebreakers while Dula fell to UNC's Ben Gendron 7-5, 7-6 in the top position.
Against North Dakota on Sunday, Eastern once again came close to taking the doubles point, winning in the No. 3 position while the first position saw the Eagles come out on the wrong side of a tiebreaker.
Despite the setback, EWU would win four of the six singles matches, including the top two positions. Dula cruised past UND's top player, Ryan McGuigan 6-1, 6-1 while Bringold bested Connor Oberle 6-2, 6-4.
Bendjelti won in the No. 4 position, defeating Grant Bakke 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 while Boyle sealed the match victory by besting David Bergstrom in a hard-fought match 7-5, 7-6 (7-4).
Eastern returns to the court on Friday, Mar. 7, when Idaho State visits Cheney for a 5 p.m. match.