The Idaho menâ€™s tennis team accomplished a feat no other Big Sky Conference program had throughout the season.
The Vandals earned a 5-2 victory over Weber State to add a blemish to the Wildcatsâ€™ previously unbeaten run through conference play.
Weber State had won nine straight meetings against conference opponentsÂ before the teamâ€™s match with Idaho Friday.
Not even inclement weather could stop the Vandals, as the match was moved from Moscow to indoor facilities in Lewiston.
The Vandals used a strong performance in doubles play to gain early momentum in the matchup.
Freshman Lucas Coutinho and Mark Kovacs nabbed the first match 6-4 against Weber State duo Todd Fought and Jakub Gewert. Sophomore Felipe Fonseca and senior Odon Barta sealed the doubles victory with a hard-fought 7-5 win.
Weber State was able to snag the final match of doubles play, but the Vandals had already sealed the point by the time it had concluded.
â€œI was very proud of how we competed today,â€ head coach Abid Akbar said. â€œWeber State is a very strong team. It is always nice to go out and get the doubles point. With teams that are even that is where the difference comes from.â€
The doubles point prompted a strong performance by the team in singles play.
Kovacs took the first singles point for Idaho by defeating Hou-En Chen 6-3, 6-1 on the No. 4 court. Fonesca followed Kovacs showing by beating Jakub Gewert 6-2, 6-3.
Barta also defeated Todd Fought in three close sets. Fought won the first 7-5 but then dropped the final two to Barta 6-3 and 6-4. Bartaâ€™s win put Idaho up 4-0, clinching the overall victory for the Vandals and handing Weber State its first Big Sky loss.
â€œIn singles we played smart and fast and were able to get the job done,â€ Akbar said.
The Wildcats continued to compete, even after the loss had been decided.
Stefan Cooper of Weber defeated Idaho senior Jackson Varney in three sets. After losing the first, Varney came back to tie the score in the second set. Cooper overcame Varney in the third set 10-4.
Freshman Artem Vasheshnikov earned a late victory against Weberâ€™s Landon Barlow. Vasheshnikov beat Barlow in two sets 6-4, 6-4.
The win moves Idaho closer to potentially reaching the first seed in the Big Sky postseason tournament. The Wildcats currently sit atop the conference standings, but could fall to second with a loss to Montana and a Vandal win against Idaho State.
Idaho will face Idaho State Sunday during a two-game road trip in Boise. The Vandals will also compete against rival Boise State on Saturday.
Brandon Hill can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @brandonmtnhillÂ Â