| March 22, 2018

Men’s Tennis: Winning streak snapped

The Idaho men’s tennis team defeated Georgia Southern Saturday 4-3 to open its two weekend matches in Abilene, Texas.

The Vandals fell short Sunday losing 3-4 in a closely contested battle with Abilene Christian University (ACU). The loss ended Idaho’s current six-game winning streak.

The Vandals took the opening point, after their doubles victory against Georgia Southern. The point did not come without a fight.

Idaho’s Esteban Santibanez and Lucas Coutinho took the first match in doubles play with their promising victory of 6-2. After the second match was won by Georgia Southern, it was time for Idaho’s Mark Kovacs and Carlos Longhi Neto to conclude doubles competition with a win of their own.

Kovacs and Longhi Neto outlasted their opponents, when they took their match with a score of 7-5. The Vandals’ would build on their early lead.

Kovacs did not waste any time increasing the Idaho lead. He routed his opponent in two matches 6-2, 6-3. Santibanez followed Kovacs impressive effort.

Santibanez also defeated his opponent in two matches. He won with a score 6-3, 6-3, and Idaho extended its lead to three.

Three victorious matches by Georgia Southern tied Idaho. Now, the Vandals needed Felipe Fonseca to come up big, if the team wanted to open the weekend in winning fashion.

Fonseca’s match did not lack excitement. After dropping the opening set, Fonseca rallied to defeat his competition in a dramatic 7-5 set. The second set must have fueled Fonseca, as he went on to handle his opponent with a score of 6-1.

Idaho extended its winning streak to six games and overall record to 7-2. The Vandals, could conclude a perfect Texas road trip with a win over ACU Sunday afternoon.

The Vandals picked up where they started Saturday, winning the opening point in doubles competition.

After the first doubles match went to ACU, Kovacs and Longhi Neto defeated their opponents 6-4 to tie doubles play at one match a piece.

Guilherme Scarpelli and Fonseca ended doubles play with a victory of their own.

Singles competition opened with Fonseca losing his match, but Idaho reclaimed the lead when Longhi Neto won by a score of 6-4, 7-5.

Kovacs lost his singles competition, and the match was now tied 2-2.

Santibanez’s match concluded next. He claimed the final point of the evening for Idaho, when he gave the team a 3-2 lead.

ACU took the final two sets from the Vandals, and they went on to defeat Idaho 4-3.

Idaho will continue its road trip on Tuesday, but the team is going back to Big Sky play. The Vandals will play Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah.

Zack Ozuna can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @OzunaZack21

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