Jan. 15, 2009
The Big Sky Conference title race in men's tennis is predicted to go right down to the wire, as Eastern Washington finished a narrow second in the league's preseason poll to Sacramento State, 61-60 (5-4 in first-place votes). Eastern's women's squad was picked fifth in its respective poll.
Last year, Sacramento State claimed the regular-season title, while the Eagles outlasted the Hornets in Gold River, Calif., in the league's championship match, 4-3. On the women's side, Sacramento State outlasted Northern Arizona last year in both the regular season (first and second, respective) and in the Big Sky's title contest, and the same is predicted this year.
The Eagle men went 18-7 last year, 7-1 in Big Sky contests, while the women were 10-14, 4-4 in league matches.
This year, the men have already started their season, falling to No. 34 Washington 7-0 and then beating Seattle University by an identical score in a pair of matches played in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday (Jan. 10).
The team will take on No. 66 Utah at 4 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday (Jan. 16). Their first Big Sky match is at home against Sacramento State at 3 p.m. on Feb. 20.
The women open their season versus Air Force in Pullman, Wash., at 4 p.m. on Friday. They will begin their league campaign against Sacramento State at 11 a.m. on Feb. 8.