Eagles Conclude Light Month with Idaho

Feb. 21, 2007

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Eagles Back Home Versus Idaho

The Eastern Washington Eagles play their second and final match of February this Saturday (Feb. 24), as the University of Idaho Vandals pay a visit to Cheney. First serve is slated for 10 a.m.

The Eagles fell to the 47th-ranked Sacramento State Hornets, 7-0, on Friday in its home opener, dropping to 1-4, 1-1 in Big Sky Conference play. The Vandals are 2-3 following a 7-0 win at Lewis-Clark State on Saturday (Feb. 17) and will take a trip to Spokane to play Gonzaga the night prior to facing the Eagles.

Earlier this season, the Eagles won their opening Big Sky match of the season, defeating Northern Colorado on the road in clutch fashion, 4-3, on Jan. 27.

In that contest, Eastern grabbed control of the match by claiming all three doubles contests and then winning three of the first five singles matches to complete play to secure its win.

Kasey Knox, Kerstyn Dolack and Marie Demerath were able to contribute singles and doubles wins to the mix. Demerath played a role in the clinching doubles match (which earned EWU the all-important doubles point heading into singles play), teaming up with Rachel Berger for the win, and then finished off Northern Colorado as a team by virtue of an impressive comeback 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory in singles play.

Dolack Claims Big Sky POW Honors

Eagle soccer-turned-tennis player Kerstyn Dolack had an excellent week in the Rocky Mountains from Jan. 26-28, as she went 2-1 in both singles and doubles play and earned the initial Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors for 2007.

In doubles play, she teamed up with Kasey Knox at the No. 1 position to defeat Northern Colorado's Tabatha Knop and Christina Shelly in Eastern's first Big Sky match of the season, 8-6. The tandem also defeated Laura Neal and Lauren Strasburger of Colorado State, 8-5, while falling to Air Force's Liz Walker and Lauren Wilson by a close 8-6 margin.

Dolack played No. 3 singles her first two matches of the week and earned a pair of straight-set victories, topping Walker, 6-0, 7-6 (8-6), and Meredith Krystofik of Northern Colorado, 7-5, 6-3. She then moved up to the second slot her final match of the three-match trip to the Centennial State, but dropped a 6-2, 6-1 decision to Colorado State's Laura Neal.

The honor is Dolack's first. Last year, Knox won the award twice and Rachel Berger earned accolades once. Prior to 2006, the last time an Eagle achieved the honor was in 2002.

Dolack previously played forward for the Eagles soccer team from 2003-05 and saw action in 51 games, scoring four goals and adding four assists.

Top-Notch Schedule for Eagles in 2007

The Eagles are coming off an impressive 2006 season and are taking on top competition this year, as three nationally-ranked squads are on the slate for Eastern Washington. The Eagles have already played No. 66 Washington State and 47th-ranked Sacramento State and are scheduled to take on No. 41 Oregon in Eugene on March 16.

Newcomers to the Eagle Tennis Family

There are some new staff additions to the Eagle tennis programs. Darren Haworth and Jan Steenekamp will now serve as assistant coaches, while Jeff Kawaguchi is now the strength and conditioning coach.

Haworth has experience with Dreves, as he played for the Eagle head coach at Linfield and helped lead the Wildcats to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament. He would serve as an assistant coach at his alma mater from 2002-03 and, for the past year, has served as men's and women's head coach at Fresno City College.

Steenekamp is a former No. 1 singles player for Montana who earned first team All-Big Sky honors three times.

"He is one of the top players maybe ever in the Big Sky," head coach Patrick Dreves said.

Kawaguchi currently acts as an assistant athletic trainer within the EWU athletics department and works directly with the women's basketball team. He serves as an assistant professor in the Athletic Training Education Program at EWU, as well.

"Because he is a physical therapist, he understands both sides of it, not pushing kids too hard, but also understanding if they have nagging injuries," Dreves said.

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