BY: LANE TAYLOR
After traveling to Indianapolis to square off against Butler University Bulldogs, the Eastern’s men’s tennis team had an unsuccessful trip. Despite playing some of its best tennis of the season, the Colonels (0-2) couldn’t find a way to pull out a victory losing 3-4 to the Bulldogs (2-4).
Eastern split the singles matches with Butler 3-3. Freshmen Alex Alvaro and Aleix Alvarez won their respected matches, and specifically Alvaro winning in straight sets. Junior Joao Maio won his match as well in straight sets with scores of 6-3 and 7-5.
Despite losing their matches, freshman Florian Graskamp (6-7, 6-2 and 6-4) and sophomore Daridge Saidi (6-4, 5-7, 7-5) both took their opponents to three sets. Sophomore Juanjo de la Llera lost in consecutive sets 6-3 and 6-4.
The doubles matches didn’t fare too well for the Colonels; Eastern lost all three of the matches.
“With a young group, there’s a lot of teaching and coaching we have to do,” head coach Rob Oertel said. “[We] are teaching life lessons as well as tennis lessons. I’m trying to make them comfortable.”
The loss was the second consecutive loss of the season for the Colonels after falling to the University of Tennessee last week. However, Oertel said the program looks to be improving.
“They are just learning to play as a team,” Oertel said. “Every match our chemistry is growing.”
The Colonels will look to rebound at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1 when they host Xavier University.
“The next match is always the most important,” Oertel said. “They [Xavier] are a veteran team, stronger than Butler. It will be a good measuring stick for us.”