COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Two teams that have never beaten Tennessee Tech are hoping their fortunes can change this weekend when they welcome the Golden Eagle tennis team for Ohio Valley Conference matches in the two northernmost sites in the league. The Golden Eagles visit Eastern Illinois in Charleston, Ill., on Saturday afternoon, and wrap up the weekend Sunday morning with a match at SIU Edwardsville, in Edwardsville, Ill.
Tech is 15-0 all-time against EIU. SIUE, meanwhile, has only had one shot at the Golden Eagles and trails 1-0 in that newly formed series.
The Golden Eagles hope to rebound from a 4-3 loss at Jacksonville State on Wednesday, the team's first regular season loss on OVC play in three years. Tech is 2-9 overall in dual matches and 1-1 in league play this spring.
The Golden Eagles are unbeaten in the all-time series against
Eastern Illinois, going 15-0 against the Panthers since the series
started in 1997. In fact, during the streak, EIU has managed to win
two points just three times. One of those came last year in a 5-2
Golden Eagle win.
The Panthers come into the weekend with a 4-5 overall record, including a 1-1 mark in OVC action after splitting matches on the road last weekend at Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky. EIU dropped a 4-3 match at Morehead State but bounced back to claim a 4-3 win at EKU. Eastern Illinois is paced by Robert Skolik, who owns a 6-2 overall record in dual matches this spring, including a 5-2 mark at No. 4. A little lower in the lineup, Kevin Bauman is 6-3 in duals, including 3-0 at the No. 6 position. In doubles play, the No. 2 grouping of Rui Silva and Ryan Henderson are 7-2. Both Skolik and Bauman, as well as the doubles duo, are unbeatedn in OVC matches.
SIUE is also 1-1 in conference matches, with exactly the opposite results in its two outings last weekend in Kentucky. The Cougars beat Morehead State, 4-3, before falling at EKU, 4-3. SIUE is 7-6 overall this spring. The Cougars will host Jacksonville State Satutrday before hosing Tech on Sunday. Live stats for this match will be available here.
The team leader has been Nicolas Vincent in the No. 1 singles role, posting an 8-4 record and bringing a four-matchin winning streak into the weekend. They have also found some success on the other end of the lineup, where Patrick Gaffigan is 6-4 overall including 5-3 at No. 6 singles. Vincent and Jacob Tanulanond are the top Cougar doubles pair, owning a 7-4 record at No. 3.
The Golden Eagles had never faced SIUE before the Cougars joined the OVC last year, and Tech claimed a 5-2 victory in the first meeting.
Speaking of individual winning streaks, Tech's No. 1 singles slot has enjoyed a stretch of success where sophomore Oleksiy Arovin has won eight consecutive matches and owns a 9-2 record in dual matches. He is 16-9 overall in his first season at Tech, following a 7-7 effort in tournaments in the fall. in doubles, senior Vasily Eremeev and junior Artem Tarasov have Tech's top mark with a 5-4 record.