Redbirds To Host EIU and WIU This Weekend
Head coach Cris James
Head coach Cris James

Feb. 21, 2008

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men's tennis team will continue its spring schedule this weekend against a pair of in-state rivals. The Redbirds take on Eastern Illinois Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m., and Western Illinois Saturday, Feb. 23, at 1:30 p.m., at the Evergreen Racquet Club in Bloomington, Ill. The matches will wrap up a four-match homestand for the Redbirds.

Head coach Cris James is looking for his team to continue their improved play from the past weekend.

"We played better, but the key is to continue to improve every time out," said James. "We did a better job of attacking and being more aggressive in our second serves. We also mixed up our serving better overall. I would like to see us continue to do that and play with more confidence and consistency."

The `Birds will open the weekend by taking on Ohio Valley Conference member Eastern Illinois (4-4). The Panthers enter the match on the heels of wins over St. Francis (Penn.) and Niagara last weekend. In singles, the Panthers are led by Robert Stedman, Jeff Rutherford and Jordan Nestrud who all have a 3-2 record. Eastern Illinois is 14-16 overall in singles and 5-9 in doubles action.

On Saturday, Illinois State faces Summit League member Western Illinois (3-1). The Leathernecks defeated Missouri Valley Conference member Creighton, 5-2, on Feb. 10, and enters Saturday's match with three consecutive wins. Western Illinois is paced by Martin Bostrom in singles. Bostrom has posted a 9-0 overall mark on the year including 2-0 in No. 2 singles matches this spring. In doubles, the Leathernecks are led by Zack Frisch and Neil Lesinski, who are 2-1 this spring at the No. 1 position.

Last weekend, the Redbirds defeated nationally-ranked (No. 7) Division III member Washington (Mo.), 5-2, on Saturday, Feb. 16, and Chicago State, 7-0, on Sunday, Feb. 17.