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ISU Tennis

Match Recap: Men's Tennis | 2/12/2024 3:53:00 PM | Ryan Cheney, ISU Sports Information
Justin Prax
Match Recap: Men's Tennis | 2/12/2024 3:53:00 PM | Ryan Cheney, ISU Sports Information

Idaho State Gets First Ever Win Over Air Force in 2-1 Weekend

POCATELLO, Idaho – The Idaho State men's tennis team began their 11-match road trip this weekend, opening with a match at the University of Denver on Thursday, followed by two matches at Air Force. One on Friday vs Air Force, the second on Saturday vs North Dakota.

Idaho State's play was capped off by an impressive 4-3 win at Air Force and a 6-1 win over North Dakota.

Beginning in the doubles matches in Bengals' match vs Denver, the first duo for ISU, playing in the #3 doubles spot, was Ege Cankus and Hiroki Fujita. The Bengal tandem would fall 2-6 to Denver's Papajcik/Sallay. The second Bengals grouping in doubles was Patrick Kristensen and Andreas Kramer, who could not get it done, falling to Yamaguchi/Cuesta, 2-6, in the #2 doubles match, giving UD the doubles team point.

Heading into singles play down 0-1 ISU knew they needed to step up if they wanted to win. The first singles match to finish was the #4 singles match, Patrick Kristensen fell to P. Sallay in straight sets 2-6, 4-6, and in the #5 singles match Hiroki Fujita would face the same fate, falling 3-6, 4-6 to A. Sriniketh. In the #6 singles match Wikus Robbertse would deny the Pioneers the sweep, as he took it to R. Papajcik, winning 6-4, 6-4, keeping the Bengals alive and earning them their first team point, as they trailed 1-3. As Idaho State needed to win each match from here on out if they wanted to win the team match, the Bengals could not come through as as Valentino De Pellegrin fell in the #2 singles match 3-6, 6-7 (1-7), and Andreas Kramer gave it a valiant effort but just fell in the #3 singles match 6-7 (4-7), 6-7 (6-8). In the #1 singles match Victor Sklenka lost to Denver's N. Cuesta in three sets 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, giving the Pioneers a 6-1 win over Idaho State.

The next match up was the following day for ISU, taking on Air Force.

In the doubles matches vs the Falcons the first match to finish was the #3 doubles match where Hiroki Fujita and Ege Cankus downed the AF duo of Deaton/Moore 7-5. The second match to wrap up was the #1 doubles where Valentino De Pellegrin and Victor Sklenka would fall the Falcon pairing of Vroman/Garner 5-7. With the doubles point all coming down to the #2 doubles we saw Patrick Kristensen and Andreas Kramer just lose to Air Force's Kersten/Brown, 6-7 (6-8).

Idaho State looked to shake off the 0-1 start, in singles play the #4 singles match finished first, where we found Patrick Kristensen falling to A. Moore 3-6, 2-6. With the Bengals now down 0-2 they needed to get some wins, and they delivered. Andreas Kramer would pikc up a win in the #3 singles match, defeating N. Vroman 6-3, 6-4, followed by Valentino De Pellegrin grabbing a win in the #2 singles match over A. Kersten, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. And just like that Idaho State was all knotted up with Air Force at two apiece. In the #1 singles match Victor Sklenka gave it everything he had, but could not come out on top vs P. Deaton, falling 3-6, 6-4, 5-7. Needing wins in the #5 and #6 singles matches Idaho State's Hiroki Fujita and Wikus Robbertse would deliver in the clutch. Robbertse would defeat A. Fritzinger in the #6 singles match 6-4, 6-3, and Fujita would defeat J. Brown in the #5 singles match 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to secure the come from behind victory for ISU 4-3. Idaho State's first-ever win over Air Force.

In their second match of the weekend at the Air Force Academy the Bengals would take on North Dakota. The Idaho State duo of Hiroki Fujita and Ege Cankus would go to work early in this match, winning the #3 doubles match for ISU once again, defeating Zgraggen/Alex by a score of 6-3. However, the Bengals could not capitalize, as Patrick Kristensen and Andreas Kramer would fall in the #2 doubles match to Yassin/Terry 2-6 and Valentino De Pellegrin and Victor Sklenka would fall in the #1 doubles match to Koua/Moreno 5-7. Giving the Fighting Hawks the 1-0 lead heading into singles play.

In the singles matches Idaho State would shake off the doubles point loss and then some, as all six Bengals would win their singles matches. Beginning in the #1 singles match, Victor Sklenka, would win 7-5, 7-5, over UND's Koua, followed by Andreas Kramer downing L. Zgraggen in the #3 singles match, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, to give the Bengals a 2-1 team lead. In the #2 singles match Valentino De Pellegrin would defeat J. Yassin 7-6, 6-4, followed by Hiroki Fujita winning the #4 singles match over UND's E. Terry 6-7, 6-0, 6-2, securing the Idaho State team win. To put the finishing touches on the match, Wikus Robbertse would get the #5 singles victory over J. Hong 6-4, 6-2, and Ege Cankus would get the #6 singles win 6-3, 6-4 over C. Alex.

"It was a great weekend of competitive matches." Said Head Coach, Oliver Good, "Denver played exceptional on Friday, but our guys competed well and gave us good opportunities. The match against Air Force was great preparation for conference play, as it was a really good atmosphere and they are always a quality team. We were glad to get the win against North Dakota on Sunday, and look to improve again for this weekend."

The Bengals will continue their road trip next weekend with a match in Salt Lake City, Utah against the University of Utah on Saturday, February 17th at 2 pm.