Cheney, Wash. – Using two early doubles victories and three singles wins, the Eastern Washington University men's tennis team closed out the 2015 season by defeating Idaho, 4-3, for the first triumph over the Vandals since 2009 and sixth time since 1984, on Wednesday, Apr. 15.
For the final match of the year and senior day, Eastern (7-14, 5-6 Big Sky) was able to secure an early 1-0 lead over UI in the afternoon match after the pairings of sophomore Robert Dula and redshirt junior Eduardo Martinez, and junior Eduardo Bringold and sophomore Luke Ness, grabbed the doubles point by defeating their opponents by the scores of 6-3, and 6-4, respectively.
With a slight edge entering the singles portion of the contest, the Eagles were able to clinch the victory after three EWU players picked up solid, three-set wins. In the number one position, Dula topped Idaho's number one player in Odon Barta by the final score, 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-4. In the fifth and sixth slots, Bringold earned a solid three set win over Varney, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, while senior Stefan Farrar snagged a victory over Sanz for the final game of his career at Eastern, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
"We have been putting in the time and the hours, while focusing on execution and stepping up our game," said head coach Steve Clark, "We've been playing with gusto – not pushing and not defending – and just overall playing better. I am very happy for the seniors today picking up the best win they've had. I've always told the players that if you always give your best, you'll sometimes play your best and you will one time be the best – today was an example of that. It was a great team effort all-around, and even though our season is done, we will be back to the weights tomorrow morning."
Despite winning three out of its last four matches, EWU can finish no better than tied for sixth place in the final Big Sky Conference standings. Due to tie-breaker scenarios, after falling to Northern Arizona earlier this year, the Eagles are eliminated for a chance to secure a bid to the Big Sky Championship.
Prior to the match, the Eagles honored both Farrar and Martinez for senior day, who concluded 2015 with a combined 26 wins across both singles and doubles play.