Big Sky Conference standings
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Behind singles wins from Mikus Losbergs, Kasparas Zemaitelis, Christopher Clayton and Hermont Legaspi, Sacramento State won its home finale over Weber State, 4-3, on Saturday afternoon at the Rio Del Oro Racquet Club.
Not only was today the home finale for Sacramento State, it also marked the final regular season match of the season. The victory allowed the Hornets (12-11, 8-3) to clinch a spot in the Big Sky Tournament in Phoenix on April 27-30. It also moved the Hornets into third place in the 12-member Big Sky, and the top six teams at the end of the regular season will compete in the conference's postseason event. The win also came against a Weber State squad that won last year's Big Sky regular season and tournament titles.
Sacramento State will either be the No. 3 or 4 seed at the Big Sky Tournament. If Montana (6-3 in league) wins its final two matches of the season, it will jump the Hornets for the No. 3 seed and the Hornets would be the No. 4. However, if the Grizzlies lose one of their final two, Sacramento State would assume the 3 seed and play the 6 seed in the tournament quarterfinals on April 28.
Playing the final home match of his career, Clayton was brilliant in singles, defeating Michael Van Schoor at No. 5 by a 6-2, 6-1 score. In fact, Clayton was the first player off the court as he dispatched of his opponent quickly. Clayton, who is a redshirt junior, will graduate in the fall and will not play next season. His victory things at 1-1 as Weber State took two of the three doubles matches to secure the doubles point. Clayton has now won four straight singles matches and improved his record to 11-9 this season, including 8-2 against Big Sky opposition.
Legaspi gave the Hornets a 2-1 lead after winning his match at No. 6 in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. The win for Legaspi, who is a true freshman, improved his singles record to 7-3 against Big Sky competition.
Losbergs improved his singles record to a team-best 14-8 after beating Shaw-Po Yin at No. 1 by a 7-6 (1), 6-4 score. That gave the Hornets a 3-1 lead.
After Weber State closed to 3-2 with a win at No. 4, Zemaitelis provided the match clincher, defeating Kris Van Wyk at No. 3 by a 7-6 (2), 6-4 score. Zemaitelis is now 12-10 in singles play, and 9-2 in league.
"First of all, Chris Clayton was incredible today, and it was a great way for him to conclude his home career. He has meant a lot to this program," Sacramento State assistant coach Kevin Kurtz said. "It was exciting to see our guys compete and beat the defending conference champions, and it was a good test prior to the Big Sky Tournament.
"Overall, everyone on the team fought incredibly hard today, and we were very proud of their effort."
The winner of the Big Sky Tournament receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The two two seeds receive a bye in the first round of the conference tournament while the No. 3 seed plays the No. 6 seed, and the Nos. 4 and 5 teams square off in the quarterfinals.