March 21, 2008
The Eastern Washington University men's tennis team will spend its Spring Break in California, starting off with a trio of contests versus Fresno-based teams before returning to Big Sky Conference play against Sacramento State.
The Eagles will play Fresno City College and Fresno Pacific (12-0) at 3 p.m. on Monday (March 24) and Tuesday (March 25), respectively, before facing the 50th-ranked Fresno State Bulldogs (9-6) at 10 a.m. on Wednesday (March 26).
After a day off, Eastern (9-3, 3-0 BSC) will wrap up its trip to the Golden State in the capital city with a 1 p.m. tussle with the Hornets (8-7, 2-0 BSC) on Friday (March 28).
"The most important match for us (on the trip) is obviously Sacramento State," interim head coach Darren Haworth said. "We've got some really good warm-up matches and a chance to play outdoors. We have actually only had one outdoor practice so far this season (and no matches), so that will be nice.
"Sacramento State is going to be a dogfight, and whoever wants it more will win. I expect it to be a really good, hard-fought match."
The Eagles enter the busy week with its fourth-largest win total in school history (since records were kept with EWU's first season in the NCAA Division I ranks in 1984). Next on the list are the 2006 (10-8) and 1985 squads (13-10). Last year's team holds the record (14-12).
Eastern also had a nine-match winning streak this year, the longest ever seen at the school at the Division I level. The previous mark was eight, set from March 2-April 12, 1985.
Its 3-0 start in Big Sky play is its best ever and just two wins shy of the most recorded in school history (last year's squad went 5-2 in league play).
Mam Sets School Record, Quickly Tied by Karas
With a 7-6, 6-1 straight-sets win over Idaho State's Marc Pijoan on March 1, junior Pannhara Mam rewrote the Eagle record book, as he took over sole possession of the school record for wins in a career with 34.
He has, however, since been caught by Art Karas, as the two enter this week with 35 wins apiece. The former record holder, Jason Chapman (1992-95), has 33 wins and is in third. Tied for fourth with 30 victories are current Eagles Patrick Millican and Kyle Schraeder.
In doubles play, Mam and Schraeder have teamed up for 22 career wins to take over the top spot in that category. Jonathan Davis and Millican are in the second spot on that chart with 18 victories.
Where's the Match?
Home tennis matches will take place outside at the Sports and Recreation tennis courts, located directly to the northwest of the varsity soccer field.
Rain or cold temperatures will, however, move matches indoors to the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse, located directly to the south of Reese Court, the home for Eastern's volleyball and basketball teams. The Fieldhouse is located on the bottom floor of the building right behind the racquetball courts.
Top-Notch Schedule for Eagles in 2008
The Eagles are taking on top-notch competition this year, playing five matches versus top-75 opponents.
After playing No. 68 BYU in a 4-3 road loss on Jan. 19, the Eagles fell to No. 23 Washington 7-0 on March 14. Eastern Washington is set to play 50th-ranked Fresno State on Wednesday (March 26).
Also, UW's Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, ranked 82nd nationally, defeated Pannhara Mam 6-2, 6-1, while Fresno State's Rudolf Siwy is in the 104th slot and set to take on an Eagle on Wednesday.