Eagles' Postseason Run Finally Comes to an End

April 29, 2007

All good things have to come to an end sometime. After earning its first two postseason wins of its NCAA Division I era, the Eastern Washington University men's tennis team finally saw its season come to an end at the hands of Sacramento State. The Eagles fell to the regular-season champion Hornets, 4-0, in the championship match of the Big Sky Conference Tournament on Sunday morning (April 29) in Gold River, Calif.

"I think we started out pretty flat, which was surprising - maybe the guys were nervous," head coach Patrick Dreves said. "In singles, the guys fought hard and played as well as they have all year, but Sacramento State just ended up on top. It was a disappointing end to a fantastic season."

Eastern Washington finished its campaign with a 14-12 record, its second winning mark in a row after not accomplishing that feat in 21 years. The previous instance came in 1985 (13-10), the second year of Division I play for the Eagles. Eastern Washington also went 5-2 in regular-season conference action this year to earn its first winning record in league history.

The Eagles can now count two postseason wins on their ledger after advancing through the quarterfinals and semifinals with 4-0 wins over Weber State and Montana, respectively. Coming into this weekend, EWU had gone 0-40 in postseason competition (0-22 in Big Sky Tournament play and 0-18 in Big Sky Mountain Division Regional Championship action).

Even more impressive, the Eagles are just three years removed from a winless 0-11 campaign. Since that year, Eastern Washington has gone 3-17, 10-8 and 14-12, respectively.

In today's action, Sacramento State took the first two doubles matches to finish play and went into the singles matches up, 1-0. A trio of straight-sets victories later clinched the championship for Sacramento State.

In singles contests which were still playing when the conclusion of the match happened, Kyle Schraeder had split the first two sets with Anton Stryhas, while Nico Riego de Dios lost by a tiebreaker in the first set, 7-6, and was trailing the second, 3-2. Art Karas had an incredibly tight first set with Tim Lantin, dropping it, 7-6 (14-12).

By virtue of its win today, Sacramento State (20-5) earned the Big Sky's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament and will play an opponent to be determined on May 11.


Eastern Washington at Sacramento State
Sacramento State 4, Eastern Washington 0
April 29, 2007, in Gold River, Calif.

Doubles competition
1. Gabriel Loredo/Anton Stryhas (Sac) vs. Jonathan Davis/Patrick Millican (EWU), 6-4
2. Xavier Barajas-Smith/Hague Van Dillen (Sac) def. Kyle Schraeder/Pannhara Mam (EWU), 8-4
3. Warwick Foy/Ramon Perez (Sac) def. Keithan Gregg/Kevin Erickson (EWU), 8-5

Singles competition
1. Xavier Barajas-Smith (Sac) def. Pannhara Mam (EWU), 6-1, 6-0
2. Anton Stryhas (Sac) vs. Kyle Schraeder (EWU) 6-3, 4-6
3. Gabriel Loredo (Sac) def. Patrick Millican (EWU), 6-3, 6-4
4. Ramon Perez (Sac) def. Daniel Pez (EWU), 6-3, 6-3
5. Warwick Foy (Sac) vs. Nico Riego de Dios (EWU), 7-6 (3), 3-2
6. Tim Lantin (Sac) vs. Art Karas (EWU), 7-6 (12)

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (1,3,4)

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