Eagles Rally From 3-0 Down to Defeat MSU 4-3

Feb. 22, 2008

The Eastern Washington University men's tennis team entered the 2007 season having lost 27 straight matches against the then-three-time defending Big Sky Conference champions. Now, after dramatically rallying from 3-0 behind on the road for a 4-3 victory on Friday (Feb. 22), the Eagles have won two straight meetings.

The match this afternoon came down to No. 6 singles. After every other contest had finished and the team score was tied 3-3, all eyes rested on this court as the two competitors, Eastern's Daniel Pez and Montana State's David Kovas, settled in for a second-set tiebreaker. Kovas had won the first set, but it was Pez who stayed alive with a tiebreaker win and then put away the Bobcat with a convincing third-set performance, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

Montana State (2-4, 1-1 BSC) took its 3-0 lead after claiming 2-of-3 doubles contests (Eagles Nico Riego de Dios and Art Karas were 8-6 winners on court three) and earning wins in the initial two singles contests to wrap up play on courts one and three.

Kenneth Norling, playing just his third match of the spring, jump-started EWU's comeback with a 6-4, 7-6 victory on court four. Kyle Schraeder then finished off his opponent on the second court, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. Tying the match was Karas, who earned a 6-4, 6-3 victory in the fifth position.

Now that the Eagles (4-2, 1-0 BSC) got the important match of the weekend, the league contest, out of the way, Eastern will now set its sights on Lewis-Clark State (5-3 entering Friday) and Montana State-Billings (0-0). The Eagles face LCSC at 8 a.m. Pacific Time on Saturday (Feb. 23) and then take on the Yellowjackets at 11 a.m. on Sunday (Feb. 24). Each of those contests also takes place in Bozeman, Mont.

Eastern Washington vs Montana State
2/22/08 at Bozeman, Mont.
Eastern Washington 4, Montana State 3

Singles competition
1. Kyle McDonald (MSU) def. Pannhara Mam (EWU) 6-2, 6-2
2. Kyle Schraeder (EWU) def. Jakub Dybala (MSU) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
3. Pawel Turzanski (MSU) def. Nico Riego de Dios (EWU) 6-1, 6-3
4. Kenneth Norling (EWU) def. Fletcher Keyes (MSU) 6-4, 7-6
5. Art Karas (EWU) def. Justin Hauck (MSU) 6-4, 6-3
6. Daniel Pez (EWU) def. David Kovas (MSU) 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2

Doubles competition
1. Jakub Dybala/Kyle McDonald (MSU) def. Pannhara Mam/Kyle Schraeder (EWU) 8-4
2. Fletcher Keyes/Myles Perkins (MSU) def. Jonathan Davis/Patrick Millican (EWU) 8-6
3. Nico Riego de Dios/Art Karas (EWU) def. Justin Hauck/Pawel Turzanski (MSU) 8-6

Match Notes:
Montana State 2-4, 1-1 BSC
Eastern Washington 4-2, 1-0 BSC
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,3,4,2,5,6)

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