BY: BRANDON JOHNSON
Eastern’s Men’s tennis team is still seeking its first road win of the season as the Colonels (3-6) fell short of an upset at No. 35 University of Louisville on Feb. 15.
The Colonels put up a good fight in the doubles matches, but Louisville proved too strong in singles by taking all three matches in decisive fashion.
Louisville took the two match points from doubles with the third match went unfinished. Junior Joao Maio and sophomore Daridge Saidi were in the middle of the No. 3 match when the match was called. Louisville led 5-4, and that particular match was called after Louisville sealed the match’s fourth point.
The Cardinals took the other two doubles matches outright. Senior Jan Dombrowski and freshman Lucas Smets fell in the No. 2 match 8-1. Freshman Alex Alvaro and sophomore Juanjo de la Llera dropped the No. 1 match 8-2. This loss gave the final doubles point to the Cardinals.
Louisville went on to win all three singles matches. No. 115 ITA single Sebastian Stiefelmeyer defeated Colonel sophomore Daridge Saidi 6-2, 6-4.
In the other two singles matches, freshmen Lucas Smets and Ignacio Moreno both lost to the more experienced Cardinals. Moreno was held scoreless and lost 6-0, 6-0 while Smets lost 6-1, 6-0.
The Colonels closed a tough three-match stretch against nationally ranked clubs by losing all three.
After a three-match stretch on the road, the Colonels will stay in Richmond for the next two matches.
“I try to make the schedule as tough as I can in the winter,” head coach Rob Oertel said.
He said he has complete confidence, as his club looks to gain momentum before entering conference play in March. Oertel said he feels his team has faced the toughest competition of the year and looks to take advantage of the upcoming home matches.
“A home court advantage is a big for us here,” Oertel said. “Our record over the years, at home versus away, has been much stronger.”
The home court advantage will likely be tested, as the Colonels welcome the Blue Raiders of Lindsey Wilson College (0-0) at 2 p.m. Feb. 21. This match will be the first of the season for the Blue Raiders, who finished the 2011-2012 season with a 19-6 record and are fourth in the preseason NAIA poll.