The Illinois State men’s tennis team flocked to Western Michigan over the weekend to open its fall season in the Vredevelt Invite, winning eight of 13 matches.
Sophomore Rodrigo Oliveira dominated over Pablo Mora of Western Michigan, 6-4 and 4-0, while Jacob Wilson defeated Xavier’s Rob Torsch, 6-3 and 6-2.
When it came to doubles, Jakub Eisner and Rolando Torrellas were beat by Notre Dame’s Ryan Brady and Kenneth Sabacinski 8-2. Muddappa Appanervanda and Wilson struggled for success and lost 8-6 against Michael Fredericka and Dougie Barnard.
“I thought we played some promising doubles matches, winning one and coming down to the wire in the two matches against Notre Dame,” first-year head coach Mark Klysner said. “Collectively, we started a little slow but played better in the latter part of the matches.”
Eisner won his first match against Jorg Van der Vloet of Cleveland State, 6-3 but lost the rest 6-1, 1-0. Erik Brunskog also won his first match over Alex Lawson of Notre Dame but was defeated in the next two, 6-3, 1-0.
“We started off a little bit tentative because it was the first tournament of the year,” Wilson said.
Torrellas was unable to claim victory against Leopold Islinger of UW-Green Bay, 6-4 and 6-2. Appanervanda also came up short against Xavier’s Freddy Abunku, losing 6-3 and 6-2.
“Overall not a bad start, but looking for better results tomorrow,” Klysner said after Friday’s competition.
On Saturday the Redbirds won both of their doubles matches.
Duo Eisner and Torrellas took down Zach Mueck and Matt Bishop of Xavier, 8-7. Appanervanda and Wilson claimed victory over Xavier’s Rob Torsch and Jeremy Schneider, 8-3.
“I was much more pleased with the way we came out playing today.” Klysner said. “We started the day with some solid wins in doubles action and took that momentum into singles play.”
For singles play on Saturday, Eisner and Wilson both found success during their matches. Eisner dominated over Michael Moe of Xavier, 6-4 and 1-0 and also took down Cleveland State’s Ali Shabib, 6-2 and 6-3. Wilson bested Nolan Marks of Cleveland State, 6-4 and 6-1, while also beating Bishop, 6-3, 6-4.
“Eisner and Wilson both had great days in singles winning both of their matches,” Klysner said.
“I think overall we showed a lot of improvement since the first day. We all got confident as we played more,” Wilson added.
Oliveira and Torrellas also found success on Saturday. Oliveira dominated over UW-Green Bay’s Rowan Isaaks, 6-0, 6-2, but could not triumph over Islinger, and lost 6-3 and 6-4.
Torrellas clinched a victory against Isaaks, 6-4, 6-2, but fell short to Matt Dooley of Notre Dame, 6-4, 6-2.
Appanervanda lost to Bishop, 6-1, 6-0, and to Matthew Hamilton of Western Michigan, 6-3, 6-2. Brunskog fought hard against Xavier’s Mesa Mei, but lost 6-3, 7-6.
“Hopefully we can close out the weekend with some positive results tomorrow,” Klysner said Saturday.
On Sunday, Wilson defeated Barnard, 6-2 and 1-0. Oliveira lost to Matt Kuelker of Cleveland State 7-6, 7-6, and Torrellas fell to Michigan’s Jim Beckwith during the first set, 7-6. He came back and won the second set, but fell in the third, 1-0.
Brunskog was defeated by Michael Tenzer of UW-Green Bay, 6-1 and 6-2 and Appanervanda could not find victory over Mueck, losing 6-0 and 7-6.
During doubles, Eisner and Torrellas fell to Notre Dame’s Fredrick and Barnard 8-4. Brunskog and Oliveira were unable to beat Jimmy Roebeker and Mei of Xavier, falling short 8-7. Appanervanda and Wilson also faced a loss against Joey Leto and Michael Tebon of UW-Green Bay, 8-7.
Wilson ended the weekend 4-0.
“Overall I think the weekend went well and the guys played hard,” Klysner said. “I thought we fought hard and put up some good results. Jacob was a good leader for us at the Vredevelt Invite, going 4-0 in his singles matches.”
“We still have a lot of work to do in order to become a conference-championship-caliber team,” Wilson said.
The Redbirds will head to Tulsa, Okla. Sept. 28 thru Oct. 6., to compete at the ITA All-American Championships.