Men’s tennis places sixth in the Big Sky

Joseph Cohen undefeated in Big Sky Conference

By Elohino Theodore, Sports Writer

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Freshman Tomas Aranguiz serves the ball during practice.
Photo by Anna Mills

The EWU men’s tennis team saw their season come to an end on April 26 as they fell to Montana, 4-2.

The Eagles, who were seeded at sixth place for the Big Sky Tournament, finished their season with a record of 9-13. One victory for Eastern came from No. 1 singles player sophomore Joseph Cohen. Another victory came from No. 6 singles player sophomore Stefan Farrar.

Montana won the No. 3, 4 and 5 singles matches against Eastern. The Eagles also lost in doubles. According to Farrar, the team had a positive mindset both before and during the tournament.

“I think, coming into the tournament, we had high hopes. At the start of the season, we weren’t playing very well. But as the season progressed, we started to play a lot better. I think we were pretty positive and optimistic going into [the tournament],” Farrar said.

Head coach Darren Haworth also thought his team did a good job of staying calm and confident during the tournament. “I think the guys did a great job of keeping a winning mentality. I think the guys felt truly that they were a contender to win it, and it showed in how they competed against Montana,” Haworth said.

Before the tournament, the team worked on a few things to get them prepared to compete in Sacramento, Calif. “We just did a lot of hitting [and] a lot of sets. We did a lot of fitness like doing stairs, doing sprints, stuff like that. I think we were in really good physical condition for the tournament,” Farrar said.

No. 2 singles player Eduardo Martinez did not compete in the tournament due to a season-ending knee injury. Haworth had to find a way to fill the No. 2 spot for the tournament.

“Tomas Aranguiz had stepped up from the No. 3 spot into the [No.] 2 spot and did a phenomenal job. He was competing great against some of the best players in the conference, and for a freshman to come in and do that was really awesome,” Haworth said.

No. 2 doubles player freshman Aaron Lince felt like Haworth did a good job addressing the problem for the No. 2 singles position.

“We needed some one consistent. [Martinez] fought hard in every match. So we needed someone to fill that [position] in, and [Haworth] chose [Aranguiz], which I thought was a good fit,” Lince said.

During the match against Montana, the Eagles were behind 3-0 at one point. But the wins from Cohen and Farrar helped the team come close to tying Montana by a single victory. However, the Eagles couldn’t hold on to turn the match around.

“It was one of the most competitive matches we’ve had in the tournament in the last couple of times. It came down to the last two matches. Our guys battled really hard, and I was really proud of the way the guys competed with all the adversity that we’ve been through this season,” Haworth said.

No. 3 singles player Kyle Koetje finished off his senior season with a career total of 30 singles matches won and another 31 wins in doubles matches. Cohen finished off the year by winning twelve straight singles matches with an 8-0 record in the Big Sky conference at No.1.

After the tournament, Lince is looking forward to competing again next season. “I’d say the goal for next year is getting there to the conference tournament again and doing better. I see us going far next year,” Lince said.

Haworth is also optimistic about the work ethic and the future of the team.

“The guys just, I know, are going to work hard this summer and the offseason. We’ve got a bunch of young guys that I know are eager to come back and continue to get better at tennis.”

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