The Redhawks fell in heartbreaking fashion Saturday, losing 4-3 against Eastern Washington at the Sammamish Club in Issaquah, Wash.
The match came down to the sixth singles position, the last match to conclude, where Jason Bediones (Kent, Wash.) and Eastern Washington's Kyle Koetje faced off. Koetje took the first set 6-2, but Bediones hung tough all throughout the second with the match on the line, forcing a set tiebreak. The tiebreak was just as close as the set was, but Koetje prevailed and took the doubles match 6-2, 7-6(8-6) to claim the team match for the Eagles.
Mark Shkrebtan (Redmond, Wash.) and Simon Meske (Tacoma, Wash.) both won their singles matches to give SU a chance at overall team victory. Shkrebtan took his contest at number one singles 6-2, 6-4 over Ilija Cuic, while Meske came back from a one-set deficit to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 over Eastern Washington's James Russell.
The Redhawks opened the match by taking the doubles point, winning two of the three doubles matches. At number one doubles, the SU duo of Shkrebtan and Yusuke Kanehira (Tokyo, Japan) took on Eastern Washington's Koetje and Cuic. The Redhawks' duo raced out to a 5-2 match lead then traded points with the visiting Eagles until the end to take the match 8-6.
Seattle U clinched the doubles point at the second doubles position, where Kevin Lynch (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Bediones took down the Eagles' pair of Mario Navarro and James Russell. Lynch and Bediones won 8-4, and the Redhawks drew first blood in the team match.
The Redhawks also had a chance to win the match at the fourth singles position where SU's Lynch and EWU's Julian Sanchez faced off again in a thriller. The match included many long rallies and advantage-switches and could have gone either way until the end, but it was Sanchez who came on strong in the third set, however, and took the crucial point 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
After nearly two weeks to rest up from the exhausting contest against the Eagles, the Seattle University men's tennis team next takes the court Friday, March 23 with a neutral-site contest against Idaho State in Las Vegas, Nev. The Redhawks will play four matches that weekend, including a doubleheader on Saturday, March 24 against Weber State and Western New Mexico and one match Sunday, March 25 against UC Riverside.
Eastern Washington 4, Seattle University 3
1. Skrebtan/Kanehira (SEA) defeat Cuic/Koetje (EWU) 8-6
2. Lynch/Bediones (SEA) defeat Navarro/Russell (EWU) 8-4
3. Henninger/Sanchez (EWU) defeat Meske/Malagutti (SEA) 8-5
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1. Mark Shkrebtan (SEA) defeats Ilija Cuic (EWU) 6-2, 6-4
2. Mario Navarro (EWU) defeats Andrew Anderson (SEA) 6-4, 6-4
3. Simon Meske (SEA) defeats James Russell (EWU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
4. Julian Sanchez (EWU) defeats Kevin Lynch (SEA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
5. Chad Henninger (EWU) defeats Flavio Malagutti (SEA) 6-4, 6-1
6. Kyle Koetje (EWU) defeats Jason Bediones (SEA) 6-2, 7-6(8-6)
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6