| March 22, 2018

Tennis: Double Domination

Both of Idaho’s tennis teams took to the road Wednesday and both came home with convincing wins.

The men’s team defeated Radford College 7-0, while the women beat Eastern Washington 6-1.

Down in Virginia, junior Mark Kovacs and freshman Carlos Longhi Neto opened the match against Radford with a win on the No. 1 doubles court. Sophomore Lucas Coutinho and freshman Esteban Santibanez followed up with a win on court No. 2, clinching the first point of the night for Idaho.

Longhi Neto opened singles play for the Vandals, defeating Matko Varga 6-1, 6-2. Sophomore Felipe Fonesca followed up with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Robin Calias.

The Vandals earned the winning point when Coutinho finished his battle with Janken Thoen.  Fonesca took the first set 6-3. However, he faltered in the second, losing 6-4. The final set came to a tiebreaker, where Fonesca finished on top.

Play continued on the remaining courts, despite the Vandals’ 4-0 win already sealed.

Kovacs fended off Alexandros Caldwell on court No.1 in a three-set fight to the finish.

Santibanez found the most trouble while playing against Samuel Taylor. The first set went into a tie breaker that Taylor eventually won. Santibanez found his footing in the second set, winning 6-1. His momentum continued heading into the final showdown, and the Vandals earned their sixth point of the night.

Sophomore Peter Shin closed the shut-out for Idaho with a 6-3, 6-3 victory.

The Vandals (6-2, 3-0 BSC) picked up their fifth consecutive win. The men’s team will be back in action against Georgia Southern March 11.

While the men’s team won handedly against a non-conference foe, the women’s team found similar success in the Big Sky. The Vandals (8-5, 4-0 BSC) continued their conquest of conference opponents against Eastern Washington.

Sophomore Marianna Petrei, the Vandals’ No.1 player, proved yet again that she is a force to be reckoned with. The Italian native earned her seventh consecutive win from the No. 1 singles position and her fourteenth win against in the Big Sky.

The Vandals opened with a shut-out in doubles play to go up 1-0. Petrei’s 6-2, 6-0 win over Janaya Smith helped Idaho extend its lead.

Other notable victories came from junior Ana Batiri and senior Claire Yang. Batiri ended with a 6-1, 6-2 win on court No. 5, while Yang earned a 6-3, 6-4 victory on the sixth court.

Junior Lucia Badillos and sophomore Maria Tavares both had their matches go into a third set. The two players saw their early leads wiped away during the second set, but they rebounded in the third to notch two more points for Idaho.

Freshman Jessica Brzozowska suffered the only loss of the day for the Vandals. Brzozowska fought hard in the first set, forcing a tiebreaker. However, her opponent, Faye Worrall held on to win.

The Vandals’ undefeated record keeps their position atop the Big Sky conference midway through the season. Idaho will return to Moscow March 25 to face Seattle University.

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

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