By ASHLEY OWENS
After taking its last two matches of the regular season, Eastern’s men’s tennis team earned the OVC regular season title with just one loss in the conference. The Colonels traveled to Illinois April 10 and took on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Cougars before moving April 11 to the Eastern Illinois University Panthers.
Southern Illinois 3
The match against the Cougars (8-12, 3-6 OVC) was a close one with a 4-3 score, but Eastern started the match by winning the opening doubles point.
Freshman Ramon van Flymen, senior Daridge Saidi and sophomore Sebastian Mueller each earned a point for the Colonels in singles play. Flymen competed in No. 2 singles for a 7-5, 6-4 win while Saidi (No. 3) also won his match in straight sets. Mueller pulled through at No. 4 singles with a 7-6 (6), 6-4 win.
No. 5 singles was played with a super tiebreaker and No. 6 singles played as an eight-game pro set after the team outcome was already certain.
Eastern Illinois 1
The Colonels lone loss against the Panthers (4-15, 3-6 OVC) was at No. 3 singles. Four Colonels won singles play in straight sets.
Junior Alex Álvaro won his No. 1 feat 3-6, 6-3, (11-9) while Flymen brought in a 7-6 (0), 7-6 (4) win at No. 2. Muller (No. 4), sophomore Diogo Soares (No. 5) and senior Juanjo de la Llera (No. 6) also won in straight sets. Mueller earned the OVC Tennis Player of the Week for his efforts.
The Colonels ended its regular season with a record of 16-7 and 8-1 in the conference and are the No. 1 seed for the OVC Tournament. Eastern will play in the semifinals April 18 against either No. 4 Jacksonville State University or No. 5 Belmont University in Nashville.