Falcons Rally to Beat Eastern Washington, 4-3
Feb. 5, 2011
The Air Force men's tennis team continued its undefeated spring season Saturday with a 4-3 come from behind victory over Eastern Washington University at the Academy. The Falcons, who improved to 4-0, won four of the six singles matches after losing the doubles point.
EWU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead by winning at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles. James Russell and Chris Eriksson opened things up with an 8-5 win over AFA freshman Alex Grubbs and Danny Gies at the No. 3 position. Sophomore Lance Wilhelm and freshman Andy Jackson then won the No. 1 match, 8-3, over Chad Henninger and Julian Sanchez. EWU's No. 2 team of Stefan Simikic and Kyle Koetje clinched the doubles point with a 9-8 victory over senior Taylor Soster and freshman Lucas Marin-Salcedo. The Eagle duo, which saved two match points, won the tiebreak 9-7.
In singles play, Grubbs started the Falcon rally with a dominant, 6-0, 6-2 win at the No. 4 spot over Sanchez, followed by Wilhelm winning the No. 1 match, 6-2, 6-3 over Fernando Mussolini. Simikic then evened the match at 2-all with a 7-5, 6-3 win at No. 3 over Marin-Salcedo.
Jackson joined Grubbs and Wilhelm with a 4-0 record in singles when he defeated Navarro, 7-6(13), 6-3 and Soster clinched the match for the Falcons by winning the No. 5 match 6-4, 6-1 over Henninger. Keotje won the final match, 6-2, 3-6, (10-8) over freshman Steven Young at No. 6.
"This was a great win for our team today," said Air Force head coach Dan Oosterhous. "The doubles point came down to a tiebreaker at No. 2. We had our chances but they pulled it out, fighting off two match points. Andy Jackson pulled out a clutch first-set tiebreaker, which proved to be the turning point of the team match and then our team captain, Taylor Soster, sealed the win with a clutch straight set win at No. 5."
The Falcons wrap up their five-match homestand on Sunday, Feb. 13 against New Mexico State at the Academy, beginning at noon.
Air Force 4, Eastern Washington 3