| March 22, 2018

W. Tennis: Home Court Advantage

Idaho concluded their weekend double header in Moscow with a commanding victory over Portland State at the Memorial Gym courts.

The commanding win was jumpstarted when the Vandals took all three doubles matches to earn the first point of the afternoon.

The duo of senior Rita Bermudez and freshman Maria Tavares earned a 6-4 win to begin doubles play Sunday afternoon.

Freshman Marianna Petrei and sophomore Lucia Badillos competed in the closest match of doubles play, earning a 7-5 victory.

Petrei almost fell to the ground before making the winning shot to put an exclamation point on the doubles victories by the Vandals.

“We are a very deep team,” said Idaho head coach Mariana Cobra. “If we go up 1-0 it is going to be very hard to beat us. We have worked more in doubles and continue to work. There are a lot of positives, but also some things we can get better at.”

The Vandals carried the momentum from doubles play into singles competition.

Petrei countered Dane Voster’s strong net play to earn a 6-0 and 6-1 victory on the No. 1 court. The win improves her record in singles play to 16-2.

Tavares’ backspin appeared to frustrate Portland State’s Kelsey Frey on the No. 5 court. Frey took several points to deuce, but could not capitalize in key situations.

Tavares battled her way to a two-set win. She was quickly followed by teammate Lucia Badillos, who won 6-1, 6-1 on the No. 6 court.

“Marianna, Maria and Lucia each quickly took care of business,” Cobra said. “That put us up 4-0, but Portland State is a good team. This was definitely a good win for us today.”

Senior Belen Barcenilla had difficulty in overcoming Viking standout Sabina-Elen Preda. The Portland State athlete consistently hit difficult cross-court shots to challenge the Idaho senior.

After dropping the first set, Barcenilla fought back to win the next two sets 6-2 and 10-1.

Bermudez struggled with Siena Peri in a close match on the No. 2 court, falling 6-4, 6-3 in two sets.

Freshman Celine Koets finished the afternoon with a win in an extended match against Tracy Dong. The Viking athlete came back from early 1-0 deficit to challenge Koets. The freshman would eventually pull ahead late in the competition to take the tie-breaker 10-2.

The 6-1 victory for Idaho improves the team’s record to 12-8 overall and 6-2 in Big Sky Conference play. The Vandals currently sit third in the conference rankings.

“Our goal is to peak every match we get,” Cobra said. “That way we get to conference and peak there.”

The meeting marked the final home match for the Idaho women’s tennis program. The team will be on the road for the remainder of the year, beginning with Montana on Friday.

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

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