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ISU Men's Tennis

Men's Tennis 9/18/2023 8:52:00 AM Ryan Cheney, ISU Sports Information
Justin Prax
Men's Tennis 9/18/2023 8:52:00 AM Ryan Cheney, ISU Sports Information

Men's Tennis Brings Home the Gold

BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho State men's tennis team opened their fall slate with a tournament in Boise, Idaho where Boise State University hosted the Bengals along with George Fox, Idaho, Utah State, and Weber State for the Dar Walters Classic. In this tournament each "team" will be composed of two players from each school. Each of these teams will play a best of three matches. The first match will be a doubles match between all four players, and the second and third matches will be singles matches where each player will take on another from the opposing team.

Idaho State's play was highlighted by Valentino De Pellegrin and Victor Sklenka bringing home the championship after defeating an Idaho Vandal pairing 3-0.

The Bengals had three teams of two players each competing in this tournament.

The first team competing for Idaho State was Wikus Robbertse and JW Altman. Robbertse and Altman opened the tournament Friday with a 2-1 loss to Boise State. We saw the pairing drop their doubles match against BSU 4-6, and Altman fall in his singles match 0-6, 2-6, although Robbertse was able to win his singles match 6-4, 6-1. In the groups' first consolation match they took care of business against a George Fox team 2-1. In the doubles match Robbertse and Altman won 7-6 (7-4), and in singles Robbertse defeated his matchup 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, and Altman was unable to do the same, falling 2-6, 1-6. In the consolation semi-finals the grouping was unable to make it to the championships, falling to separate George Fox pairing 2-1. In this match Robbertse and Altman fell in the doubles match 2-6, followed by Wikus Robbertse downing his matchup in straight sets 6-1, 6-0, but Altman could not follow his teammate up, dropping his singles match in three sets 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (9). In Robbertse and Altman's final match of the tournament the group lost to a Weber State team 2-1. In doubles Idaho State fell 4-6, and in singles Robbertse won 6-4, 3-0 ret., and Altman fell 2-6, 2-6.

The second team for Idaho State was Ege Cankus and Hiroki Fujita. In the team's opening round match, they were unable to get it done, falling 2-1 to a team from Idaho. In doubles Cankus and Fujita defeated their opponents 6-3, but in the singles matches Cankus fell in three sets 6-2, 3-6, 5-7, and Fujita fell 1-6, 4-6. In the pairings' first consolation match they took down a George Fox team 3-0. The Idaho State duo won the doubles match 6-4, followed by Fujita winning 6-1, 6-1 and Cankus winning 7-5, 6-4. In the consolation semi-finals Cankus and Fujita downed their Weber State opponents 2-1. In doubles we saw ISU take it 6-4, and Fujita close out the victory for the team by winning 6-2, 6-3. After the win the group advanced to the consolation championship against a separate George Fox team. The Bengals took care of business in this one, winning the doubles 6-1, Cankus winning his singles match 6-2, 6-3, and Fujita winning his singles match 6-4, 6-2. The Bengals winning the consolation championship over George Fox 3-0.

The final grouping for Idaho State was Valentino De Pellegrin and Victor Sklenka. From the get-go this pair was on a roll, rolling through their opening match against Weber State 3-0. In this one De Pellegrin and Sklenka won the doubles match 7-5 and followed that up with a De Pellegrin 6-4, 6-1 win and a Sklenka 6-1, 6-4 win. In the groups' quarterfinal round match, they squared off against a George Fox team. ISU would go on to win 2-1 behind a doubles win 6-2, and a Sklenka singles victory 6-3, 6-3. For the semi-finals the ISU team would face-off with Idaho where we saw the team once again take the W in doubles behind a dominant performance, 6-1, and a Valentino De Pellegrin singles win 7-6 (6), 6-1. This win propelling the team to the finals against a separate Idaho pairing. In the finals the Bengals showed out, dominating from start to finish, winning 3-0. The duo won their doubles match 6-3, De Pellegrin smashed his singles match 6-1, 6-2, and Victor Sklenka grinded out the final singles victory of the tournament 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Head coach Oliver Good shared his thoughts on the team's first action since last season, "I'm very proud of Victor and Valentino's efforts, but not surprised as they are great players. They were composed under pressure and played well all weekend. What was just as pleasing though was that we had impressive performances by all of our guys, and got in some really important match-play. This is a great group of players, and we are excited to see how we do over the next couple of tournaments."

The Idaho State men's tennis team has three more tournaments this fall, the next being the Inter-Mountain Regionals at the United States Air Force Academy September 28th through October 2nd.