SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State sophomore Marek Marksoo was named the Big Sky Conference Men's Tennis Player of the Week after leading the Hornets to a pair of road wins over rivals UC Davis (4-3) and Fresno State (4-3) on back-to-back days over the weekend.
In fact, both matches were knotted at 3-3 with Marksoo still playing, and both times the Tallinn, Estonia, native came through with three-set wins to clinch victory for the Hornets. The weekly award is the second of the season for Marksoo (Jan. 22), and already the fourth of his career.
The win against Fresno State was the first in the Div. I era (1992-pres.) as Sacramento State had been 0-8 against the Bulldogs. Perhaps even more impressive than his singles win against Fresno State was Marksoo and teammate Aliaksandr Malko erased a 6-2 deficit at No. 1 doubles to win, 8-6, and clinch what turned out to be a very important doubles point.
Marksoo, who plays at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles for the Hornets, finished the week 2-0 in singles play and 1-1 in doubles. His clutch singles wins came over UC Davis' Toki Sherbakov, 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4, and Fresno State's Reid deLaubenfels, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4. Against deLaubenfels, Marksoo trailed early in the third set, 2-1, before winning five of the final seven games.
In doubles play, he teamed with Malko to beat Fresno State's Sam MacNeil and deLaubenfels by an 8-6 score, after the tandem fell to a doubles team from UC Davis a day earlier.
A first team all-Big Sky Conference selection last year, Marksoo is now 5-3 in singles play (4-2 at No. 1), and 5-2 in doubles play (all at No. 1) this season. Earlier this month, he became the first player in school history to compete in the prestigious Davis Cup when he played for his home country of Estonia.
Sacramento State (3-5) returns to action on Friday, March 1, for its home opener against Pacific at the Rio Del Oro Racquet Club at 3:30 p.m. Friday is the first of a season-long six-match homestand for the Hornets.