The Idaho men’s tennis team kept its perfect record alive with an almost perfect performance Saturday, in Utah.
The Vandals did not lose a single set on their way to 7-0 victories against Utah State (3-7) and Weber State (2-5). The pair of wins improves Idaho to 7-0 on the season.
The weekend’s matches marked the third and fourth time Idaho has shut out its opponent this season and the second and third time it has won in straight sets.
Idaho started the day with its Western Athletic Conference opener against Utah State in Logan. The Vandals won all three doubles competitions as seniors Abid Akbar and Marius Cirstea led the way in the No. 1 position with an 8-2 victory. Sophomore Cristobal Ramos Salazar and junior Jose Bendeck won 8-4 at No. 2 and sophomore Dmitry Perevoshchikov and senior Ivan Krijanto earned an 8-2 victory at No. 3.
In the singles matches, Perevoshchikov won at the No.1 spot while Akbar and Cirstea bounced back from their singles losses last week against Gonzaga with victories at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions respectively. Cirstea defeated Matt Sweet, who is just two weeks removed from being named WAC Tennis Player of the Week. Idaho coach Jeff Beaman said the seniors’ performances stood out the most to him.
“Abid and Marius continue to have great senior years,” Idaho coach Jeff Beaman said.
The rest of the lineup also dominated the singles matches. Sophomore Cesar Torres won at No. 4, Ramos Salazar won at No. 5 and Krijanto won at the No. 6 spot.
After defeating Utah State, Idaho traveled to Ogden, Utah, for an evening match against Big Sky opponent Weber State. Beaman said traveling between matches is a test in itself, but the team handled it well.
“It can be tough to do back-to-back matches in one location, but to jump in a van, grab food on the go, drive to a different city and then get out and play again makes the guys be physically and mentally tough,” Jeff Beaman said.
Idaho showed that toughness against the Wildcats as they once again swept the singles and doubles matches in straight sets.
Akbar and Cirstea earned another 8-2 victory at No.1 in the doubles matches while Perevoshchikov and Bendeck won 8-6 at No. 2 and Ramos Salazar and Krijanto won 8-6 at No. 3.
For the singles matches, Idaho used a lineup similar to the one that beat Utah State and ended up with the same winning results. Perevoshchikov won at No. 1 in the singles matches. Akbar took the No. 2 spot and Cirstea won at No. 3. Torres won at No. 4, Bendeck won his only singles match of the day at No. 5 and Ramos Salazar won at No. 6.
Idaho will head to Portland next weekend to take on the University of Portland and Portland State. Beaman said there is still room for improvement as the Vandals look to extend their flawless record.
“This was another good weekend for the guys,” Beaman said. “There are some areas we need to improve, both mentally and physically, that we will work on going into next weekend’s matches, and we really need to step up our doubles in upcoming matches.”
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org