SEDONA, Ariz. -- Playing its third road match in as many days, and without one of its six singles players because of injury, the Sacramento State men's tennis team fell to Northern Arizona today, 4-3.
For the second straight day, the Hornets had to forfeit one of their singles matches because they did not have six healthy bodies. With Marek Marksoo (knee), Sean Kolar (knee) and Ayman Abdulwahab (knee) all out with injury, the Hornets have just five healthy players. Abdulwahab gave it a go in doubles play today, but had to retire when he and partner Alejandro Villarreal trailed, 1-0.
The Hornets (9-13, 6-4) were playing their third Big Sky road match in as many days and went 2-1 over that stretch. That included a 6-1 win at North Dakota on Friday, and a 4-3 victory yesterday at Northern Colorado.
Sacramento State is the first team in the 11-member Big Sky to wrap up its conference portion of the season, and the Hornets are 6-4. Although the Hornets have not clinched a spot in the six-team Big Sky Tournament with many matches still to be played among the other 10 teams, Sacramento State will likely get in the tournament at either the No. 3, 4, 5 or 6 seed when its all said and done. The Big Sky Tournament will take place April 25-27 at the Gold River Racquet Club, and the Hornets have won each of the last five conference tournament titles.
After dropping the doubles point today and beginning the singles portion of the match down 2-0 with the forfeiture at No. 6, the Hornets lost matches at Nos. 3 and 4 to give the Lumberjacks the necessary four points for victory.
The Hornets did win each of the final three singles matches, getting victories from Roy Brandys at No. 1 (7-5, 7-6), Niranjan Ram at No. 2 (6-3, 5-7, 6-3) and Villarreal at No. 5 (6-4, 0-6, 10-6).
Brandys and Ram continue to roll as the team's top two singles players have now each won five straight matches and improved to 9-1 against Big Sky competition.
Sacramento State will play its final two matches of the regular season on the road at Fresno State on April 13, and Nevada on April 16.