Jan. 18, 2008
The Eastern Washington University women's tennis team gets the 2008 spring schedule under way on Saturday (Jan. 19), as the Eagles will head south to take on Washington State in Pullman at 10 that morning.
The Eagles are coming off an 8-15 season which saw Eastern Washington go 4-3 in Big Sky Conference play. The eight wins were the most earned by a women's tennis squad since the 1993 team went 10-8. The conference record is the first winning one in Eastern history.
Eastern Washington is in the midst of an incredible turnaround in their program, as the Eagles won eight matches combined in the 2001-05 seasons (8-70) before going 7-13 in 2006. Eastern had also gone 4-33 in league matches in the previous five years combined.
Meanwhile, the Cougars will open their season with two matches on Saturday, as Washington State plays Eastern Washington in the morning before playing Idaho at 6 that night.
Last year, WSU just missed the NCAA Tournament, finishing with a 14-11 mark as a member of the always-competitive Pacific-10 Conference.
"This is definitely going to be a great match for our team," interim head coach Darren Haworth said. "We know that we have to go out and play high-consistent tennis and work hard to stay in every point."
The Record Books Get Rewritten
Four Eagles enter 2008 among the top seven on the Eastern Washington career singles wins chart. Kasey Knox is third with 28 victories, while Kerstyn Dolack has 24, good for fourth. In sixth is Rachel Berger (19), and she is followed by Amanda Mankovits (17).
Top-Notch Schedule for Eagles in 2008
The Eagles are taking on top competition in 2008, as four nationally-ranked squads are on the slate for Eastern Washington. In addition to its match on Saturday (Jan. 19) with No. 50 Washington State, EWU takes on No. 70 Washington on Jan. 27, 44th-ranked Boise State on Feb. 9 and No. 56 Sacramento State on March 27.
Also, three nationally-ranked singles players are scheduled to take on Eagles, as is one doubles squad. These include Washington State's Ekaterina Burduli (No. 91), Bianca Jochimsen of Boise State (No. 81) and No. 63 Katrina Zheltova of Sacramento State, as well as the 40th-ranked doubles team of Polina Kokoulina and Pichitira Thongdach of Boise State.
The Eastern Washington University men's tennis team is excited to get the 2008 spring schedule under way, as the Eagles are coming off a spectacular 2007 season.
That year EWU advanced to the Big Sky Conference's championship match after going 5-2 in regular-season play for its first winning league record in school history. The Eagles were 14-12 overall.
Eastern Washington went 2-1 in the Big Sky Tournament to earn its first postseason wins of the NCAA Division I era, improving to 2-41 in that category.
The Eagles open the 2008 slate of contests with a match versus No. 68 Brigham Young. The contest will be played in Provo, Utah, and begin at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The Cougars are 2-0 after defeating Big Sky Conference member Weber State 4-3 and Utah State 5-2 last Friday (Jan. 11). That contest wraps up a three-match homestand to start the season for BYU.
Last season the Cougars advanced to the Mountain West Conference's championship match before falling to UNLV 4-1.
"This is going to be a tough match," interim head coach Darren Haworth said. "I expect the team to compete really hard. This match will give us a gauge of things we are going to need to work on."
All Over the Career Records Charts
Of the nine players in Eagle men's tennis history to earn 20 singles wins (dating to 1989), four of them are on the 2008 squad (and just one of those four is a senior).
Pannhara Mam and Patrick Millican are tied for the second spot, as the trio has earned 27 wins in their respective careers. Art Karas is in fifth with 25 victories, while Kyle Schraeder has tallied 21 wins, good for the eighth spot.
In doubles play, Mam and Schraeder each won 15 matches last year to take over the top spot in that chart, while Jonathan Davis and Millican is tied for third on that chart with 12 victories.
Top-Notch Schedule for Eagles in 2008
The Eagles are taking on top-notch competition this year, playing three top-75 opponents.
After playing No. 68 BYU on Saturday (Jan. 19), the Eagles take on 37th-ranked Washington on March 14 and No. 69 Fresno State on March 26.
The lone nationally-ranked singles player scheduled to take on an Eagle is No. 92 Rudolf Siwy of Fresno State.