Rivals, Big Sky Match Await Eagles
April 7, 2008
After a perfect weekend in the Rose City, the Eastern Washington University men's tennis team sets its eyes on a road contest against Spokane-area rival Gonzaga and a Big Sky Conference contest with Northern Arizona.
The Eagles take on the Bulldogs at the Spokane Racquet Club at 6 p.m. on Wednesday (April 9). Eastern will then play host to the Lumberjacks at 11 a.m. on Friday (April 11).
Last weekend, the Eagles earned their 11th and 12th wins of the season and now have the third winningest season in EWU history (since the program joined the NCAA Division I ranks in 1984). The only previous squads with higher win totals were the 2007 (14-12) and 1985 teams (13-10).
Eastern Washington (12-6, 4-1 BSC) also earned a pivotal 7-0 win over Portland State to continue its hold on second place in the league standings (the team that earns the second seed to the Big Sky Conference Championship will earn an all-important bye into the semifinal round).
That win was preceded by a dramatic 4-3 victory over Portland which saw Daniel Pez break a 3-3 tie with a win for the third time this season.
Earlier this season the Eagles blanked Gonzaga (6-12) by a 7-0 score in a Feb. 12 contest.
Northern Arizona will enter the contest with a 6-13 record, 3-3 in BSC contests.
Earlier this year, Eastern had a nine-match winning streak, the longest ever seen at the school at the Division I level. The previous mark was eight, set from March 2-April 12, 1985.
Mam and Karas Battle for Record
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 have battled for the top spot in the record book ever since the beginning of March.
Currently, Karas holds the record with 39 victories, while Mam is just behind with 38 wins.
In doubles play, Mam and Schraeder have teamed up for 25 career wins to take over the top spot in that category. Jonathan Davis and Millican are in the second spot on that chart, not far behind, with 21 victories.
Eagles are also moving up the single-season record charts. Karas has 13 singles wins this spring and is tied for third on that list, while the doubles team of Karas and Nico Riego de Dios have tied for fourth with their 10 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 have taken 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 and to 52nd-ranked Fresno State 6-1 on March 26.
Also, UW's Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, ranked 82nd nationally, defeated Pannhara Mam 6-2, 6-1, while Fresno State's Rudolf Siwy, ranked 104th, defeated Mam, 6-4, 6-3.
The Eastern Washington University women's tennis team will open its week with a home contest against Spokane-area rival Gonzaga before traveling to Missoula to take on Montana in a Big Sky Conference match.
The Eagles (8-9, 4-3 BSC) enter the week having equaled the overall and league win totals of last year's squad (8-15, 4-3 BSC). No EWU squad has ever reached five Big Sky wins, while the last time an Eastern Washington team attained nine wins was in 1993 (10-8).
The contest with the Bulldogs begins at 3 p.m. on Thursday (April 10), while Eastern takes on Montana at 9 a.m. Pacific Time. Eastern is currently in third place in the Big Sky, while the Grizzlies (5-10, 2-2 BSC) are tied for fourth.
Gonzaga (8-11) will enter this week's contest with a four-match winning streak. When the teams met in Spokane on Feb. 20, the Eagles prevailed by a 5-2 score.
Earlier this year, EWU had a six-match winning streak (Feb. 16-March 8), which was the team's longest since the 1993 Eastern squad took eight straight decisions to start that season.
The Record Books Get Rewritten
Incredibly, five Eagles are among the top seven on the Eastern Washington career singles wins chart. Kasey Knox is tied for the second spot with 34 victories (Tina Dlouhy (1993-96) holds the record with 40 wins).
Where's the Match?
Home tennis matches will take place outside at the Sports and Recreation tennis courts, located directly to the southeast 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 facility right behind the racquetball courts.
Top-Notch Schedule for Eagles in 2008
The Eagles are taking on top competition in 2008, as five nationally-ranked squads were on the slate, including four straight right off the bat. In addition to those matches with No. 50 Washington State, No. 70 Washington, No. 42 Boise State and No. 67 Utah, Eastern Washington took on 46th-ranked Sacramento State.
Also, three nationally-ranked singles players took on Eagles, as did one doubles squad. No. 91 Ekaterina Burduli of Washington State defeated Kasey Knox, 6-3, 6-2, on Jan. 19, while Bianca Jochimsen of Boise State (No. 81) defeated Sarah Leuenberger, 6-1, 6-3, on Feb. 9.
In doubles play, the 40th-ranked team of Polina Kokoulina and Pichitira Thongdach of Boise State topped Knox and Amanda Mankovits, 8-2, on Feb. 9.