Eagles Earn First Postseason Win of Division I Era
April 27, 2007
In a season of unprecedented highs which has seen victory totals attained for the first time in decades and singles and doubles school records toppled, the Eastern Washington University men's tennis team topped them all on Friday morning (April 27). The Eagles defeated Weber State in a quick two-hour match, 4-0, in Gold River, Calif., to win its Big Sky Conference quarterfinal contest and earn its first postseason win in 41 tries since joining the NCAA Division I tennis ranks in 1984.
Eastern Washington's all-time 0-40 mark in postseason competition included a 0-22 record in Big Sky Tournament play (1991-96, 2003 and 2006) and a 0-18 mark in Big Sky Conference Mountain Division Regional Championship action (1997-02).
The Eagles, now at 13-11, have matched their largest win total since the 1985 team went 13-10 (the school record of 15 wins was earned by the 1983 and 1978 squads; each of those teams went 15-5). Eastern Washington has now clinched a winning record for the second straight year after not previously attaining one since that 1985 season.
The Wildcats, the sixth seed in the tournament, finished their season with a 7-17 record.
Two school records (dating back to 1989) were also tied in today's match. Art Karas, with a dominating 6-0, 6-1 win over Trevor Thompson at No. 6 singles, moved his spring win total to 14. That total allowed the sophomore to tie Pannhara Mam's 2007 campaign for the single-season school record. Mam's match today went unfinished due to the team result being clinched prior to the conclusion of his contest, as is the procedure in postseason competition.
Mam and Kyle Schraeder earned their 14th doubles win of the spring today with an 8-4 victory over Fabio Mancarella and Dave Hintze on the second court. The two have also won 14 spring contests in their careers, which ties the EWU school record in that category, originally held by Dean Kimoto and Ryan Moran (2000-01). The two extended their single-season school record by two wins over Jonathan Davis and Patrick Millican, as that duo has earned 12 victories so far in 2007. Their match today also went unfinished due to Eastern's quick win.
"Really getting some quick matches and getting on and off the court in less than two hours was really good for our guys," head coach Patrick Dreves said. "That is certainly the best we have played all year.
"In looking at results and how the year has gone, I kind of expected to win at five and six, but the one that surprised me was Patrick Millican. The junior, the elder of the team, stepped up."
Next up for the third-seeded Eagles is the second seed, Montana (11-8), as the teams will play in a semifinal battle at 10 a.m. on Saturday (April 28). That match, as well as the rest of the tournament, is being played at the Gold River Racquet Club in Gold River, Calif.
In the regular-season meeting between the teams on March 10, it was the Grizzlies who pulled out a narrow 4-3 victory in Cheney. After EWU dropped all three doubles matches to go down, 1-0, the Eagles battled back but were unable to win the 4-of-6 singles matches needed to earn the team victory. The match between the teams was so close that five of the six singles contests went three sets, the first such occurrence for an Eagle match in at least three years.
Eastern Washington vs. Weber State
Eastern Washington 4, Weber State 0
April 27, 2007, in Gold River, Calif.
1. Jonathan Davis/Patrick Millican (EWU) vs. Travis Covington/Mario Schnable (WSU), 6-5, unfinished
2. Kyle Schraeder/Pannhara Mam (EWU) def. Fabio Mancarella/Dave Hintze (WSU), 8-4
3. Keithan Gregg/Kevin Erickson (EWU) def. Quinn Allred/Cole Patterson (WSU), 8-2
1. Fabio Mancarella (WSU) vs. Pannhara Mam (EWU), 6-4, unfinished
2. Mario Schabl (WSU) vs. Kyle Schraeder (EWU), 7-6, 1-0, unfinished
3. Patrick Millican (EWU) def. Travis Covington (WSU), 6-1, 6-2
4. Dave Hintze (WSU) vs. Keithan Gregg (EWU), 7-6, 1-1, unfinished
5. Nico Riego de Dios (EWU) def. Chris Williams (WSU), 6-0, 6-1
6. Art Karas (EWU) def. Trevor Thompson (WSU), 6-0, 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,5,3)