Men's Tennis falls to Eastern Kentucky in season opener

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    Jan. 30, 2010

    Final Stats

    By Michael Benson

    RICHMOND, Ky. - Despite the return of senior Lucas Waked from injury, the SIU men's tennis team was defeated by Eastern Kentucky, 7-0, Saturday in Richmond, Ky.

    The match saw the spring debut of five new Salukis, including freshmen Brandon Florez, Chikara Kidera, and Orhan Spahic. Yet, all three played well despite their inexperience.

    In doubles, Florez - paired with the senior Waked - was defeated by EKU's Hugo Klientovsky and Niklas Schroeder, 8-5. Even with the loss, Saluki head coach Dann Nelson saw lots of promise out of the freshman and his doubles partner.

    "Waked and Florez played like they have between playing together for a long time, even though it is their first match together," Nelson said.

    For Kidera and Spahic, they nearly notched wins in their debuts.

    Kidera, a native of St. Louis, Mo., captured the first set in #4 singles against Carlos Valdenebro. However, Valdenebro came back to win set two in tiebreakers before eventually taking the match in three 3-6, 7-6, 10-5.

    Spahic was slotted in #5 singles against Parul Verma. Much like his teammate, Spahic swiped the first set, but faded in the latter half of the match to lose 5-7, 6-3, 10-6.

    In other action, Mpilo Migogo and Falk De Beenhouwer - last week's doubles stars - were humbled in their match, falling to Alex Das Izquierdo and Philip Janz, 8-2.

    "We were flat in doubles, combined with trying two new teams," Nelson said. "We must have more enthusiasm and play better."



    "In singles, EKU was just too tough for us at the top of the lineup. Lucas (Waked) is still struggling with his injury. We need to focus on the big points in matches, but I thought we competed much better than last week."

    "We are improving and working very hard in practice and the guys all have a good attitude towards training, so we just need to continue what we are doing," Nelson said.

    The Salukis return to action Feb. 6, when they take on the Kangaroos of UMKC in the Dawgs' home opener. The match is slated to start at 10 a.m. at the SportsBlast Sports Complex in Carbondale.

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