| February 23, 2018

Men’s Tennis: Early season stumbles

Idaho vs University of Portland

The Vandals (0-3) struggled on the road against Portland in the early weeks of the season, falling 6-1.

Portland (3-3) got the first point on the board with a win on the No. 2 court in the doubles match. The Vandals’ senior Mark Kovacs and junior Carlos Longhi Neto tied it up on the No. 1 court. The duo from Idaho, most recently ranked No. 34 in the ITA rankings, went 6-4 over UP’s Mathieu and Pierre Garcia. Portland solidified the point with a 6-3 win on the No. 3 court.

Idaho fell 3-0 following the first two singles matches to Portland. The opponents clinched the victory after Gracia’s 6-2, 6-4 win over sophomore Guilherme Scarpelli.

The Vandals found a point with a win on the No. 6 court when junior Lucas Coutinho won the first set 6-4 over UP’s Drew Davidson. Davidson later forced a tie-breaker with 6-4 in the second. Senior Felipe Fonseca grabbed the super tie-breaker 10-7 to pick up Idaho’s first point of the season.

Idaho vs Gonzaga

The Idaho men’s tennis team took a quick trip over to Spokane but found little success, falling to Gonzaga with no points for the second straight match.

Gonzaga got the match started with a win in the doubles, opening with a 6-4 win on the No. 2 court over Fonseca and sophomore Esteban Santibanez. The duo tied it up with a 7-5 win on the No. 3 court.

Idaho went to a tiebreaker on the No. 1 court where Gonzaga’s Sam Feit and Ruadhan O’Sullivan defeated Kovacs and Longhi Neto 7-6.

In the singles play, Idaho forced four of six matches into the third set. The Bulldogs went out on a 3-0 lead, winning at the No. 1 and No. 3 courts.

When all was said and done, Gonzaga needed only one of the four remaining matches to seal the night off. The needed victory came on the No. 6 court where Kyler Everly defeated Coutinho in the third set, 6-2, 4-6 and 7-6.

Idaho will kick off conference play against North Dakota Friday Feb. 16 in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Meredith Spelbring can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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