Marquette Wire

Men’s tennis defeats Eastern Illinois for 11-win streak

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The Marquette men’s tennis team claimed its 11th straight victory Sunday against Eastern Illinois at the Helfaer Tennis Stadium 6-1. Seniors Dusan Medan, Niko Boulieris and Mark Rutherford were honored for their contributions this match, their last at the Helfaer. The team also continued its streak of dropping no more than two sets all season.

The team will go on the road for the first time this season when they take on Pacific on March 5 in Las Vegas.

“I feel like our guys have earned it,” coach Steve Rodecap said. “I think our guys are playing well. It’s a good feeling to be where we’re at. We have a big task ahead of us but I think our guys are eager to get on the road to see what we can do.”

The Golden Eagles started off strong in the doubles with Rutherford/Jonathan Schwerin, Medan/Jacob Straus, and Boulieris/Jose Carlos Gutierrez Crowley winning 8-2, 8-3, and 8-0 respectively.

Singles competition proved to be a little more difficult. Schwerin (6-1, 6-2), Rutherford (6-1, 6-1), and junior Jose Munoz (6-3, 7-5) made quick work of their competitors, but the other three Golden Eagles had more of an uphill climb. Boulieris was down 2-5 in the first set and came back to win it 7-5 and won his second 6-3.

“The guys did a great job today to keep the energy high,” Boulieris said. “I started off a little nervous, a little anxious, but coach calmed me down and told me to take it one point at-a-time … I just felt that I needed to calm down.”

Freshman Drake Kakar fought hard winning his first set 7-6 but lost the second 3-6 and the third 1-0 in the best to 10 sudden death.

But Medan had perhaps the strongest test of the day. Medan worked hard to keep his first set lead, winning 6-3, but in the second he was swept 6-0 and appeared to be losing his concentration. However, he came back in the third to tie up the set 4-4 and won it 6-4.

“It was a tough match. I think I started the first match well but the second — I’m not really sure what happened,” Medan said. “It was bad. As bad as it could get. But I decided to try as hard as I could. … I was just playing point-by-point and tried to think of it as a unit and not think about winning or losing.”

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