April 8, 2008
Nico Riego de Dios of the Eastern Washington University men's tennis team has been named the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week after the sophomore went 2-0 in both singles and doubles last weekend. He helped EWU to a clutch 4-3 win over Portland and a 7-0 blanking of Portland State.
"I'm really happy for Nico," interim head coach Darren Haworth said. "He works hard in practice every day, and it has paid off for him on the court."
Against Portland, Riego de Dios rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 singles victory after teaming with Art Karas for an 8-6 doubles win. The following day, the Olongapo City, Philippines, native won comfortably 6-2, 6-1 in singles and he and Karas prevailed 8-3 in doubles versus Portland State.
"Nico's singles win over the University of Portland was big," Haworth said. "It was a real battle for him, and he gave it everything he had and played smart tennis."
Riego de Dios has gone 9-8 in spring singles matches, while he and Karas have compiled a 10-5 mark in doubles play, the best on the team. The award is the first for Riego de Dios and the initial one by an Eagle since Pannhara Mam earned the accolades on April 3, 2007.
"Nico has been a rock at the No. 3 position," Haworth said. "He is a real fighter, never gives up, and is one of the top No. 3 singles players in the conference."
The Eagles return to action at 6 p.m. on Wednesday (April 9) in a road contest versus Gonzaga. The match will take place at Spokane Racquet Club.