TULSA, Okla. — Two members of the Sacramento State men's tennis team took part in the pre-qualifying round of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American Championships, held at the University of Tulsa on Sept. 29-30.
Senior Aliaksandr Malko and junior Oliver Andersen both represented Sacramento State in the premier hard court event of the fall collegiate season, which features the top players in Div. I. Malko was competing at the event for the second straight year while Andersen is in his first season with the Hornets after transferring from Seminole State College.
After receiving a bye in the first round of pre-qualifying, Malko knocked off San Diego State's Derek Siddiqui by a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 score. Siddiqui, who is a senior, played at No. 2 singles for the Aztecs last season. In the third round on Sunday, Malko fell to No. 29 seed Alen Salibasic of Drake, 6-4, 6-2. Malko, who is from Minsk, Belarus, is beginning his third season at Sacramento State and was a first team all-conference last season after serving as the team's No. 1 singles player.
Andersen fell in the first round on Saturday to Memphis' Cedric De Zutter, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3. Andersen, who is a native of Copenhagen, Denmark, played the past two seasons at Seminole State College where he combined to post a 34-8 spring dual record during his tenure.
A total of 165 competitors from around the nation were selected to the single-elimination, pre-qualifying portion of the event with only 16 players from that field advancing to the qualifying round. Malko would have needed to win three matches to reach qualifying and Andersen would have needed to win four matches.
Singles quarterfinalists, doubles finalists and consolation champions will receive an automatic entry into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships on Nov. 8-11, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY.
Sept. 29 - Round 1 - Bye
Sept. 29 - Round 2 - def. Derek Siddiqui (San Diego State), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
Sept. 30 - Round 3 - lost to #29 Alen Salibasic (Drake), 6-4, 6-2
Sept. 29 - Round 1 - lost to Cedric De Zutter (Memphis), 6-0, 3-6, 6-3