By ASHLEY OWENS
Eastern’s men’s tennis team broke away from OVC play April 4 and April 7, to take on Butler University and No. 28 University of Louisville.
The tight 4-3 win against Butler was the Colonels last home match of the season before traveling to Louisville, where Eastern fell 6-1 to the nationally ranked team.
Though the Butler Bulldogs (5-13) earned the doubles point, the Colonels pulled through during singles for the final win.
Freshman Ramon van Flymen won the deciding match for Eastern at No. 2 with his 6-3, 6-4. Senior Daridge Saidi also pulled off an important win at No. 3 in his three-set feat. Saidi lost his first set but made a comeback in the second and third set to gain his fourth consecutive singles win.
Junior Alex Álvaro (No. 1) and sophomore Diogo Soares (No. 4) also won in straight sets.
Soares came through with Eastern’s lone point against No. 28 Louisville (22-5). Soares played at No. 5 in singles and battled through two tiebreakers in three sets for the win.
Mueller came close at No. 4 singles as he also fought to three sets, but couldn’t pull off the win. Alvaro had a tough battle as well in No. 1 singles where he fell to the nationally ranked Seb Stiefelmeyer (No. 8).
Eastern fell behind early in the match after Louisville grabbed the opening doubles point with the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles spots. Mueller and de la Llera’s feat wasn’t an easy one, as they took on No. 56 Alex Gornet and Jeffery Brown in the No. 1 doubles loss.
The Colonels (14-7, 6-1 OVC) return to OVC play on the road April 10 and 11, to take on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois University to finish out the regular season.