The undefeated Idaho men’s tennis team succeeded in both attempts Saturday and Sunday, defeating Nevada 5-2 and DePaul 6-1 in Eugene, Ore.
After a sweeping victory against Eastern Washington University almost two weeks ago, the Vandals had some time off before a match against Nevada Feb 2.
The Vandals ran the court in doubles play with consistent 8-2 wins to go around for each of the three doubles matches.
Last year’s second-team All-WAC selections for singles, senior Abid Akbar and partner Marius Cirstea, started the No. 1 doubles match off right with a momentous win against Nevada’s Fernando Sunago and Victor Ouvrard.
Another highlight of the show was the No. 3 doubles match-up, where Idaho’s Dmitry Perevoshchikov and Cesar Torres defeated Nevada’s Robert Allen and Andrew Poustie.
Later on in the match, Torres had a similar winner’s mentality in his singles match, with a 6-1 edge in two consecutive sets to win the match.
“Cesar Torres had an excellent day today playing a great No. 3 doubles match and then going out and taking care of his opponent in singles in a dominant fashion,” Idaho coach Jeff Beaman said.
Statistics show the Wolf Pack did not square up against a more talented group of Vandal tennis players. Nevada freshman Robert Allen accounted for one of the teams’ two points with a singles victory, remaining unbeaten in his collegiate singles career.
Akbar did not have the same landslide victory he achieved in No. 1 doubles, dropping a suspenseful 10-point tiebreaker in the third set at the No. 1 singles match to Nevada co-captain Victor Ouvrard.
“I’d like to congratulate the guys,” Beaman said. “This was a very strong result against a very good University of Nevada program. They came out and really executed the way we had talked about leading into this match.”
Wrapping up the weekend Sunday morning, Idaho left the DePaul men’s tennis team with just one win on the season and a long trip back to the East Coast.
The match started off in a typical fashion with Akbar at the helm facing last year’s Big East All-Conference performer, Filip Dzango. Akbar dominated the first set with a 6-1 advantage, but the tables turned quickly in the second set with Dzango matching up with a 6-1 set win. In the third set, Akbar battled back 6-4 to start the Vandals off with the first win of the overall match.
The next three singles spots followed suit and, continuing his great weekend, Torres ran the No. 4 singles spot, defeating DePaul freshman Jan-Willem Feilzer.
In what was beginning to look like a sweep for the Vandals, the No. 5 singles match humbled the team back to reality. DePaul freshman and three-time high school national champion Paul John defeated Idaho’s Cristobal Ramos Salazar.
The rallying attempt turned out to be insufficient for DePaul, with a win at the No. 6 singles spot for Idaho and a second doubles win for Akbar.
Sunday the Vandals will make the short trip to Spokane, Wash., for matches against Whitworth and Gonzaga.
Coming off a 9-0 loss against Lewis-Clark St. and a 7-0 loss against Eastern Washington, Whitworth is still looking for its first season win.
Aaron Wolfe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org