FRESNO, Calif. -- Sacramento State overcame a 3-2 deficit after getting singles wins from Mikus Losbergs at No. 1 (6-4, 6-4) and Christopher Clayton at No. 5 (6-4, 4-6, 7-5) to begin the season with a 4-3 road win at Fresno State on Saturday afternoon at the Wathen Tennis Center. The match marked the 2017 season opener for both teams.
With the score tied at 3-3, it was Clayton locked in the lone three-set match of the day at No. 5 against Fresno State's Jeremy Moser. After splitting the first two sets with Moser, Clayton saved two match points in the third set before eventually winning, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5. Clayton was trailing, 5-4, and down 40-30 in the third set before erasing the match points to win three consecutive games and pull out the victory.
The Hornets got singles wins from Losbergs, Clayton, Dom Miller at No. 2 (6-4, 6-3) and Donald Hall at No. 6 (6-1, 6-3). Miller was trailing, 2-0, in the first set before coming back to win his match. Hall's win came in quick fashion as his was the first singles match of the day to finish.
The win is even more impressive considering the Hornets used three sophomores, a freshman and two juniors in their singles lineup. In addition, freshman Louis Chabut, who would have played No. 4 singles, did not play because of a leg injury.
Fresno State opened the match by narrowly edging the Hornets in the doubles competition to earn the first point of the match. With the score tied at 1-1, Losbergs and Miller lost their match at No. 1 by a 7-6 (6) outcome. Clayton and Kasparas Zemaitelis won their match at No. 3 by a 6-1 score.
"Overall, I thought our guys really hung in there and played a good match," Sacramento State assistant coach Kevin Kurtz said. "We had a lot of players step up and win some crucial points when they were needed, and this was a good team effort.
"Chris (Clayton) was cramping bad in the third set, and he hung in there and never gave up. It was the gutsiest performance I've ever seen during my time at Sacramento State."
The Hornets, who do not have a senior on the roster, return to action on Saturday, Jan. 28, when they play a road doubleheader at Portland State (11:30 a.m.) and Portland (5:30 p.m.).
Sacramento State 4, Fresno State 3
1. LOSBERGS, Mikus (SAC) def. Euan McIntosh (FS) 6-4, 6-4
2. MILLER, Dom (SAC) def. Mantas Bugailiskis (FS) 6-4, 6-3
3. Youssef Hassan (FS) def. ZEMAITELIS, Kasparas (SAC) 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)
4. Xander Veys (FS) def. LEGASPI, Hermont (SAC) 6-3, 6-1
5. CLAYTON, Christopher (SAC) def. Jeremy Moser (FS) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
6. HALL, Donald (SAC) def. Bailey Gong (FS) 6-1, 6-3
1. Youssef Hassan/Euan McIntosh (FS) def. LOSBERGS, Mikus/MILLER, Dom (SAC) 7-6 (8-6)
2. Mantas Bugailiskis/Xander Veys (FS) def. CHABUT, Louis/LEGASPI, Hermont (SAC) 7-5
3. ZEMAITELIS, Kasparas/CLAYTON, Christopher (SAC) def. Jeremy Moser/Henrique Osorio (FS) 6-1
Sacramento State 1-0
Fresno State 0-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,3,2,4,1,5)
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