The Sacramento State men's tennis team embarked upon their first doubleheader today, taking on Big Sky Conference opponent Portland State this morning, then Portland University this afternoon.
The day started with a very strong and dominant performance over Portland State, a team whose No. 1 singles player, Nathan Boniel, was the Big Sky's MVP last year after going 19-1 overall in singles.
After a sweep by the Hornets in doubles play, confidence was high going into singles. Following a dominant performance by No. 2 singles player Kasparas Zemaitelis over his opponent, 6-0 6-0, Mikus Losbergs came through with a win at No. 1 over Boniel, 6-4, 6-2. Boniel had previously beaten Losbergs last season, 6-2, 7-5. With additional straight-set singles wins from Louis Chabut at No. 4, Christopher Clayton at No. 5 and Donald Hall at No. 6, the Hornets secured the 6-1 win in the first match of the day.
The second match however, would not be such smooth sailing for the Hornets against non-conference opponent Portland. At the end of the 2015-16 season, Portland ranked #10 in the Northwest Region so it was bound to be a test for the young Hornet team, sporting no seniors.
Portland came out strong in singles play, (played first by request of the home team). At No. 1 singles, Losbergs was defeated by Michail Pervolarakis 6-2, 6-0, followed by Miller's 6-4 6-2 loss at No. 2 singles. That pattern was much the same down the ladder, with the Hornets losing each match in straight sets. The doubles matches were therefore forfeited due to the match being already decided.
The split allowed the Hornets to move their record to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in conference play. Portland State dropped to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in in league play while Portland improved to 4-0, including 14 straight home victories dating back to 2015.
Sacramento State's next match is again a doubleheader, this time on Friday, Feb. 3 against conference opponents Southern Utah and North Dakota. Both those matches will take place on campus with the Hornets hosting Southern Utah at 10 a.m., and North Dakota at 2 p.m.