Vancouver, Wash. – The Eastern Washington men's tennis team picked up an important victory in Big Sky play Saturday, April 5, defeating host Portland State, 4-3, in a thrilling back-and-forth contest at Club Green Meadows.
Eastern (7-10, 3-3 Big Sky) currently sits tied for the sixth in the league standings with two weeks of matches remaining before the Big Sky Championship in Sacramento, Calif. The top six teams in the final standings receive bids to the championship.
"I couldn't be any happier with the effort our guys put forth," head coach Darren Haworth said. "It took everything they had in their tanks to pull this one out."
Portland State handily won the doubles point, claiming the second and third positions in convincing fashion to take momentum into singles play.
Despite its slow start, the Eagles dug deep and rallied to win four of the six singles matches, with only one victory coming in straight sets.
Freshman Robert Dula made quick work of the Vikings' No. 1 player, Brent Wheeler, winning handily 6-0, 6-2.
Playing in the third position, sophomore Eduardo Bringold won his first set before dropping the second frame as PSU's Wil Cochrane came back to force a third set. Bringold wasted little time, however, preventing Cochrane from winning a single game in the decisive set to take his match 7-6, 4-6, 6-0.
Freshman Wacil Bendjelti and junior Stefan Farrar lost their opening sets in the fourth and fifth slots, respectively, before rebounding to win their second sets. Bendjelti defeated Ian Risenhoover 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 while Farrar bested Abhinav Mishra 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.
Sophomore Luke Thompson nearly won his singles match in the No. 2 position before retiring late in the third set.
The Eagles are back at home next Wednesday, Apr. 6, when they host Southern Utah in a Big Sky match at 3 p.m.