| March 18, 2018

M. Tennis: Vandals Soar Past Eagles

April 7, 2016

The Vandal men’s tennis team delivered a shutout Wednesday against Big Sky Conference rival Eastern Washington.

The loss drops Eastern Washington to 4-4 in conference play and 8-15 overall.

Idaho did not lose a single match on the day. The Eagles failed to win a single set, while Idaho won 15 straight.

Freshman Lucas Coutinho and sophomore Mark Kovacs supplied the initial momentum for the Vandals in doubles play. The duo quickly beat Eastern Washington’s Luke Ness and Rendell Burghart 6-1.

Senior Odon Barta and sophomore Felipe Fonesca followed the pair’s performance with a 6-1 victory.

Senior Varney Jackson and freshman Artem Vasheshnikov played Idaho’s toughest match of the day, earning a 7-6(3) decision during doubles play.

Varney hit the winning shot — a line drive that ricocheted off the net and landed out of reach for Eastern Washington.

Idaho concluded doubles play with an early 1-0 lead.

It did not take long for the Vandals to clinch the Big Sky victory.

Kovacs earned the first singles win for Idaho on the No. 4 court. Kovacs defeated Eastern Washington’s Eduardo Bringold in two sets 6-1, 6-0. Fonesca followed suit with a 6-2, 6-1 singles victory.

Varney followed the pair’s performance with a 6-1, 6-3 win on the No. 3 court. Varney used a combination of top spin and back spin to keep opponent Vuk Vuckovic off balance. The Idaho senior was caught off guard by several drop shots, but eventually countered Vuckovic’s strategy to seal the win for the Vandals.

Coutinho played in a tough match against Burghart. Coutinho won the first set handedly 6-2. Burghart responded by forcing a tiebreaking second set. Coutinho eventually won the tiebreaker 7-4.

Vasheshnikov’s match was not nearly as close. The freshman overcame Eastern Washington’s Luke Ness 6-3, 6-4.

On the No. 1 court, Barta and Victor Pereira engaged in a competitive battle. Pereira showed good ball placement with a variety of short and long shots near the sideline. Barta retaliated with acrobatic saves that lobbed the ball far out of Pereira’s reach.

Odon eventually won the match 6-3, 6-2.

The win improves Idaho’s record to 13-5 and moves the team into second place in the Big Sky Conference standings behind Weber State. Weber State remains undefeated in conference play, holding the sole possession of first in the standings.

The two programs will clash at 2 p.m. April 15 at the Memorial Gym Courts in Moscow.

Brandon Hill can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @brandonmtnhill  

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