By Todd Purvis/Assistant sports editor
The men’s tennis team improved its record to 11-6 this weekend overall, and boosted its OVC record to a nearly flawless 3-1. The Colonels hosted OVC foe UT-Martin Saturday at the Martin Hall Courts on campus.
The Colonels lost the first point of the match losing two of the three doubles matches.
Eastern was able to come away with a win in these contests by Eastern’s John Kellert and Alvin Cheng with a margin of 9-8 over Marten Tamla and Gustavo Anzola.
“Winning or losing the doubles point does a lot for the match, but our guys weren’t affected by losing this point and they came back and won the match against a good team,” Rob Oertel said.
Eastern went on to play the singles matches where they had came from behind, after dropping the first point in the doubles matches, but managed to fight back and come away with the victory.
“After losing the doubles point, I was really impressed with how resilient our guys were by bouncing back and pulling out the singles points,” Oertel said.
The Colonels were able to win four of the six singles matches, which was enough to clinch the victory.
“This victory was a total team effort by everyone involved in the match, regardless of which individual player won or lost a match,” Oertel said. “Every match was tough, all of the guys played hard and this win was a direct reflection of their work ethic.”
One winner for the Colonels was No. 1 seed John Kellert who managed to fight back and win by a margin of 3-6, 6-2 and 6-4.
Tom Wospil won by a score of 7-6 and 6-2 and Alvin Cheng won by a margin of 7-6 and 7-6.
Lee Lester came back in the match to win by a score of 3-6, 6-4 and 6-4.
“Lee Lester really showed a lot of veteran leadership. His victory was a direct reflection of how he showed his experience of being a senior veteran,” Oertel said.
Winning Saturday’s match was a big accomplishment for the men’s team. The match marked the first time Eastern has placed above Tennessee-Martin in Ohio Valley Conference play.
“EKU has never finished above Tennessee-Martin in OVC history, so for us to get this win is a direct reflection of the progress that our program has made,” Oertel said.
Oertel also said his team needed to keep their head on straight and get ready for this weekend.
“As nice as this win was, we need to keep a level head, and stay focused on the big conference tournament weekend because it all comes down to this weekend. We can’t let our highs get too high or our lows get too low.”
The win on Saturday marked the start of three consecutive wins for the Colonels. They were able to pick up another win on Friday by sweeping Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne in both the singles and doubles matches.
The Colonels were scheduled to return to action yesterday against Morehead State University, but the competition was canceled due to the bad weather forecasted.
Eastern will return home to action this weekend where they will host Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee Tech at 2:30 p.m. on Friday at the Martin Hall Courts.