MEN’S TENNIS BEATS MONTANA STATE, ADVANCES TO BIG SKY TOURNEY SEMIFINALS

MEN’S TENNIS BEATS MONTANA STATE, ADVANCES TO BIG SKY TOURNEY SEMIFINALS

Big Sky Tournament Central

PHOENIX -- After dropping the doubles point, Sacramento State received singles victories from Mikus Losbergs, Kasparas Zemaitelis, Christopher Clayton and Hermont Legaspi to beat Montana State, 4-1, in the Big Sky Men's Tennis Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday morning at the Phoenix Tennis Center.

The win allows the Hornets (13-11) to advance to tomorrow's semifinal round where they will take on No. 2 seed Idaho at 10:30 a.m. By virtue of being on the one of the tournament's top two seeds, Idaho received a bye in the quarterfinals and will play its first match tomorrow. Sacramento State is the No. 3 seed at the tournament after finishing the conference season with a 8-3 league record, and daho finished with a 9-2 conference mark.

The Hornets have now won three straight and six of their last seven matches while improving to 13-11 overall. The 13 wins are the most for the program since the 2011 squad finished at 14-14. Montana State, which was the No. 6 seed, had its season come to an end with a 7-15 overall record, including 0-2 against the Hornets. Sacramento State defeated the Bobcats in Bozeman by a 5-2 score on April 8.

In today's match, the Hornets suffered losses at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles as Montana State picked up the point. However, Sacramento State bounced back with four straight singles wins and were close to clinching a fifth singles victory when the match was halted because the Hornets already had the necessary four points to win.

Losbergs tied the match at 1-1 when he won his match at No. 1 over Kellen Bates by a 6-2, 6-2 score. The Hornets increased their lead to 2-1 after Legaspi won at No. 6 in quick 6-2, 6-2 fashion over Maz Petrak.

Sacramento State increased its lead to 3-1 after a three-set win from Zemaitelis (2-6, 6-1, 6-3) at No. 3, and the match clincher came from Clayton, who won at No. 5 by a 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 score. At No. 2, Dom Miller was close to winning before his match was halted at 6-4, 6-5. Louis Chabut, who played at No. 4, was trailing, 4-6, 6-2, 1-3, when his match was stopped.

"Our guys played well today, and it was a good way to get some confidence and a match under our belt before tomorrow's semifinal against Idaho," Sacramento State assistant coach Kevin Kurtz said. "We still have a lot of work to do, but I like the way our guys came out and played today."

NOTES -- In the Hornets' lone matchup against Idaho on Feb. 12, Sacramento State lost on the road to the Vandals by a 5-2 score…Sacramento State, however, could have easily won that match, falling at Nos. 1 and 3 singles in close third sets…that includes a 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 loss by Losbergs, and a 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 loss by Zemaitelis…the Hornets are seeking their first Big Sky championship match appearance since 2013.