By Walter Lesczynski
The Colonel’s men’s tennis team returns to Richmond after a two win weekend in Tennessee last week.Eastern beat Austin Peay 5-2 on Friday, and followed that victory with a 4-3 win over UT Martin on Saturday. With the weekend’s results, the Colonels improve to 15-10 overall and 5-2 in the OVC.
Eastern started play by winning the doubles point against Austin Peay.? Juniors Vadzim Ivanis and Mel Segota, along with freshman Alex Das Izquierdo, dominated the singles matches to ensure victory.
The Governors earned their only win of the day in the No. 2 doubles.? The win raised the Governors’ lose column numbers even higher, to 1-4 OVC and 1-12 overall.
In a doubleheader at Skyhawk Tennis Complex against UT Martin, Eastern defeated both the men’s and women’s tennis teams Saturday. The women took their 10th consecutive win in the first match of the day, finishing 5-2.? The men’s team followed later that day with a 4-3 win against the Skyhawks.
Graduating senior Fred Goncalves stood out against the Skyhawks with a three-set win at No. 5 singles. Goncalves is an international business major from Portugal, whom his coach describes as “gutsy and tenacious.”?
Head Coach Rob Oertel said their opponents will be breathing a sigh of relief once his name is off Eastern’s roster.
“He’s not a fun guy for them to play. He absolutely refuses to lose,” Oertel said. “I have a feeling a lot of OVC teams will be happy to see him graduate.”
The regular season concludes this weekend, with games on Friday at Samford and Saturday at Jacksonville State.? Coach Oertel said he was excited about the final games of the regular season as well as the OVC tournament, which begins April 18.
According to Oertel, with their record, the Colonels are certain to enter the OVC tournament as a high seed.
“If we win both this weekend we could be as high as the No. 2 seed, and if we lost both we would be about a five seed,” he said.
Coach Oertel said the entire season has been building up to a showdown between the top teams. He said the Colonels are ready for the challenge.
“We’ve worked hard all year, and the team has risen to all the challenges they’ve been faced with,” Oertel said.? “We’re as prepared as we can be.