Big Sky Conference standings
GREELEY, Colo. -- Despite trailing, 3-1, and having to default No. 6 singles because of injury, Sacramento State came back to win the final three singles matches and defeat Northern Colorado, 4-3, in Big Sky Conference men's tennis action Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Hornets improved to 9-12 overall, and more importantly, 6-3 in the Big Sky. Although the win didn't mathematically clinch a spot for the Big Sky Tournament (April 25-27 at the Gold River Racquet Club), it put the Hornets on the cusp of qualifying for the six-team postseason event with one conference match remaining on the schedule. Sacramento State has won each of the last five Big Sky Tournament titles.
The Hornets entered the match already playing without two of their top players (Marek Marksoo, Sean Kolar) because of knee injuries, and then saw Ayman Abdulwahab scratched from his match at No. 6 because of a knee. Toss in a close loss in doubles play, and Sacramento State found itself down, 2-0, before singles play even began against a Northern Colorado squad (7-5, 5-3) that was 6-2 at home and was third place in the conference standings.
After the Hornets' Oliver Andersen won his match at No. 4 by a 6-0, 6-1 score, Alejandro Villarreal lost his match at No. 5 (7-6, 6-3) to give the Bears a 3-1 lead. Things looked even more grim when the Hornets dropped the first set in matches at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 singles.
However, Niranjan Ram began the comeback by winning his match at No. 2 by a 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 score to cut the deficit to 3-2 and Roy Brandys (No. 1) followed with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win to even things at 3-3.
That set up Joaquin Marquez's comeback at No. 3 where he recorded a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 win that saw him break serve in the final game of the match.
"I was really pleased how no one on this team gave up, and rallied when their backs were against the wall," Sacramento State assistant coach Kevin Kurtz said. "This was one of the more epic matches I've seen, and it was fun to be a part of. Our guys showed a lot of mental toughness today, and this was a big win."
The Hornets have now won seven of their last 10 matches, and wrap up the Big Sky portion of the regular season tomorrow at Northern Arizona. Sacramento State still has two non-conference road matches on the schedule and those will be played over the next two weeks.
July 16, 2014 MARKSOO AND ANDERSEN RECEIVE ITA SCHOLAR-ATHLETE HONORS
April 25, 2014 BIG SKY TENNIS QUARTERFINAL MATCHES ON FRIDAY MOVED INDOORS
April 16, 2014 INJURIES FORCE MEN’S TENNIS TO FORFEIT MATCH AT NEVADA
April 13, 2014 MEN’S TENNIS FALLS AT FRESNO STATE
March 20, 2014 MEN’S TENNIS KNOCKS OFF UMBC, 4-2
March 15, 2014 MEN’S TENNIS FALLS AT HOME TO NEW MEXICO STATE, 5-2
March 8, 2014 MEN’S TENNIS DOWNED BY SAN FRANCISCO, 6-1
March 6, 2014 SEVEN MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TENNIS MATCHES MOVED ON CAMPUS
March 2, 2014 MEN’S TENNIS SUFFERS 4-3 LOSS AT MONTANA STATE
March 1, 2014 MEN’S TENNIS DROPS BIG SKY OPENER AT MONTANA, 5-2
February 23, 2014 MEN’S TENNIS LOSES AT PACIFIC
February 22, 2014 MEN’S TENNIS FALLS AT SAINT MARY’S, 6-1
February 16, 2014 SHORT-HANDED MEN’S TENNIS FALLS TO UC DAVIS, 6-1
February 7, 2014 MEN’S TENNIS BLANKS UC RIVERSIDE, 7-0
February 1, 2014 MEN’S TENNIS FALLS TO LOYOLA MARYMOUNT, 5-2
January 18, 2014 SHORT-HANDED MEN’S TENNIS EARNS FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON
January 17, 2014 MEN’S TENNIS FALLS AT HAWAI’I, 4-3
January 16, 2014 MEN’S TENNIS OPENS SEASON WITH LOSS TO HAWAI’I PACIFIC
October 22, 2013 MEN'S TENNIS WRAPS UP FALL PLAY AT THE ITA NORTHWEST REGIONALS
October 7, 2013 MEN’S TENNIS BEGINS FALL SEASON AT THE AGGIE INVITATIONAL
September 11, 2013 MARKSOO WILL ENTER SEASON WITH HIGHEST CAREER NATIONAL RANKING