Tulsa, Okla. – The Eastern Washington University men's tennis team faced some of the nation's top collegiate players at the ITA All American in Tulsa, Oklahoma this past weekend, beginning on Saturday, Oct. 3, and spanning multiple days.
Competing for Eastern in the tournament was junior Robert Dula, senior Eduardo Bringold, sophomore Vuk Vuckovic, and freshman Victor Pereira. In the pre-qualifying round of 256, Dula faced Ohio State's Chuck Shewalterin a hard fought matchup before eventually falling two sets to one. The first set finished 6-2 in favor of Shewalter, but Dula battled back, taking the second set with a score of 6-2; however, his momentum was cut short, losing in the final set 6-4. Vuckovic, competing in the prequalifying round of 512, matched up against Santiago Munoz from Arkansas. The match concluded with a 6-0, 6-4 defeat for Vuckovic. Pereira took on Dima Zyhmantovich of Middle Tennessee in his 2-0 loss. The first set concluded 6-1, but Pereira finished with a competitive set of 7-5.
After the singles pre-qualifying draw, the Eagles played in the doubles qualifying round of 128 on Tuesday. They only had one match with the duo of Dula and Pereira against Cal Poly's pair of Ben Donovan and Corey Pang. Eastern was bested in two sets, with scores of 6-2, 6-3.
Coach Steve Clark felt encouraged for the future of the team after the tournament. "Process is always the focus and the product comes. I am pleased with some of the gains we achieved at the All American Championships in Tulsa. In our F.O.C.U.S ideals, the O is for opportunity. And the All American was a great opportunity that will yield huge dividends mentally, technically, and in team focus overall." Eastern was the only Big Sky Conference school at the massive event; "You cannot ask for better competition and variety of opponents", added Clark.
Next on the schedule for the team will be the ITA Regionals hosted in Seattle, Wash., starting Thursday, Oct. 22 and continuing through until Monday Oct. 26.