Men’s tennis turns corner after weekend loss

By Josh Friesen, Sports Editor

Photo by Anna Mills


In a season defined by close matches and tough losses, the Eagle men enjoyed their first Big Sky Conference win of the season against Northern Colorado on March 2, 5-2, after falling to Montana State on March 1, 4-3.

Three Eagles emerged victorious in the match against the Bobcats: No. 1 Joseph Cohen, No. 2 Eduardo Martinez and No. 6 Stefan Farrar.

The match did not start particularly well for the Eagles, where they lost all three doubles matches to concede the first point to Montana State. Though No. 1 doubles pair Cohen and Martinez went point for point in the first eight games against the Bobcats’ Javier Martin-Morillas and Niklas Brandes, they were unable to hold on, losing the match 8-4.

Both Eagle men were able to make up for it in their respective singles matches. Cohen, matched up against Brandes in No. 1 singles play, lost the first three games and saw himself down in the first set 3-0. The match quickly heated up, however, as Cohen dug deep and won the next six games of the first set. He made easy work of his opponent to conclude the match, 6-3, 6-1.

“Once he finds his rhythm, he’s unbeatable,” men’s head coach Darren Haworth said. “It takes him a little while, but he’s potentially the best player in the conference.”

Martinez also found himself down in the No. 2 singles match to Contreras, but managed to win two consecutive sets of his own, winning 5-7,7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

“Martinez at … two, [he and Cohen] really [have] been kind of cornerstones of our team this year. They’ve been kind of rock solid,” Haworth said. “We can’t continue to rely on our top guys.”

The rest of the Eagles were not as fortunate. Tomas Aranguiz lost at the No. 3 spot, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, Kyle Koetje lost at No. 4 6-4, 6-4 and Luke Thompson fell in No. 5 6-1, 6-3. The only other Eagle to register a victory was Farrar at No. 6 singles, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.

“We’ve got to get stronger lower in the lineup,” Haworth said. “Ferrar played a great match tonight.”

Despite the increasing losses, Haworth feels good about the growth his team continues to show.

“We got a young team, and they were unsure what to expect going into the season,” Haworth said. “We’ve lost a couple that have been really tough, but the guys are learning how to compete better [and] learning what it takes to win.

“Overall I think as a team we’re slowly getting better.”