Rendell Burghart of Anchorage trusted his booming baseline game at the Eastern Washington University Fall Classic, using big forehands and backhands to make a strong showing to the start of his tennis season.
Playing on his home court, the EWU sophomore thrived in the three-day tournament by winning two singles matches, losing another in three sets and advancing to the Flight B consolation finals. He also played doubles.
“The tournament went pretty well this weekend,” he told me. “We have recently got a new coach and it felt good getting to try out what he has been working on with us.”
Burghart, of Dimond High fame, opened singles play with a gutty 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 loss to Seattle University’s Connor Leahy, who wound up making it all the way to the finals.
The defeat didn’t keep him down.
“I tried not to dwell on the loss and just focused on winning the next match,” he said.
Burghart did just that, beating Anthony Croteau of Lewis-Clark State 6-3, 6-4 and then knocking off Matt Anderson of Seattle 6-4, 6-4.
Those victories moved him into the consolation final, where he lost 6-3, 6-4.
“My baseline game was pretty solid this tournament, but I still have some stuff that I have to improve for the next one,” Burghart said. “It was the first tournament of the season, so I still have more opportunities to do better in future matches.”
Burghart and his doubles partner lost both matches.
Burghart’s career singles record in college is 5-4, including 2-1 in Big Sky matches.