FRESNO, Calif. — For the second consecutive day, a 3-3 match came down to Sacramento State's No. 1 singles player Marek Marksoo, and the sophomore delivered yet again in a four and a half hour marathon victory over Fresno State Sunday afternoon at the Wathen Tennis Center.
Yesterday, the Hornets found themselves locked in a 3-3 tie with UC Davis when Marksoo won his match by a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4 score to provide the final tally in a 4-3 Sacramento State win. Today, it was nearly an identical scenario as the Hornets were again playing a rival on the road with Marksoo's match still going in a 3-3 tie. The Tallinn, Estonia, native did not disappoint, erasing an early 2-1 deficit in the third set to defeat Reid deLaubenfels, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4.
With the win, the Hornets improved to 3-5 on the young season. Sacramento State has yet to play at home this year, and has now played all eight matches with one senior, four sophomores and a redshirt freshman in the team's lineup.
In addition, the Hornets defeated Fresno State (3-8) for the first time during the program's Div. I era (1992-pres.). Sacramento State had been 0-8 against the Bulldogs prior to today's victory.
"To pull out road wins on back-to-back days against rival schools is very impressive," Sacramento State assistant coach Kevin Kurtz said. "There was no quit in anyone on this team, every player was into every match, and I felt like our guys played like warriors this weekend."
Not only did Marksoo come through with the match-clinching singles win, it was Marksoo and teammate Aliaksandr Malko that came back from a 6-2 deficit in doubles play to defeat deLaubenfels and Sam MacNeil, 8-6, and earn the Hornets the much-needed doubles point.
Sacramento State also got singles wins at No. 2 from Malko (6-2, 6-4) and at No. 6 from Niranjan Ram (6-2, 2-6, 6-0). It was Ram that had a singles win yesterday and helped the Hornets erase a 3-1 deficit to defeat UC Davis. In fact, Ram, who is a redshirt freshman, has won three straight singles matches. He and Marksoo are now a team-best 5-3 in singles play this season.
The Hornets' doubles tandem of Sean Kolar and Tom Miller won their match at No. 2 by an 8-4 score as Sacramento State won two of the three doubles matches to earn the point. The tandem of Kolar/Miller has now won three straight doubles matches.
The Hornets will finally play their first home match of the season on Friday, March 1, when the team hosts Pacific for a 3:30 p.m. matchup at Rio Del Oro Racquet Club. Friday will begin a season-long six-match homestand that includes a contest against Cal on March 7.
Sacramento State vs Fresno State
Feb 24, 2013 at Fresno, Calif.
(Spalding G. Wathen Tennis Center)
Sacramento State 4, Fresno State 3
1. MARKSOO, Marek (SAC) def. Reid deLaubenfels (FS) 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4
2. MALKO, Aliaksandr (SAC) def. Sai Kartik Nakireddi (FS) 6-2, 6-4
3. Nikolas Papic (FS) def. KOLAR, Sean (SAC) 6-4, 5-7, 5-2
4. Felipe Fritz (FS) def. BRANDYS, Roy (SAC) 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 6-1
5. Sam MacNeil (FS) def. MILLER, Tom (SAC) 6-2, 6-4
6. RAM, Niranjan (SAC) def. Jeremy Quiroz (FS) 6-2, 2-6, 6-0
1. MARKSOO, Marek/MALKO, Aliaksandr (SAC) def. Reid deLaubenfels/Sam MacNeil (FS) 8-6
2. KOLAR, Sean/MILLER, Tom (SAC) def. Felipe Fritz/Sai Kartik Nakireddi (FS) 8-4
3. Jeremy Quiroz/Nikolas Papic (FS) def. RAM, Niranjan/BRANDYS, Roy (SAC) 8-5
Sacramento State 3-5
Fresno State 3-8
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,5,6,4,3,1)