SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Idaho's Artemiy Nikitin, Odon Barta and Cesar Torres were all victorious in singles play to lead the Vandals to a 4-1 victory over the Hornets on Tuesday afternoon at the Sacramento State Tennis Courts.
Today was the first of four matches the Hornets will play on campus while their normal home facility, the Rio Del Oro Racquet Club, has its courts resurfaced. In fact, besides a few sporadic matches over the years on campus, Rio Del Oro has served as the team's home facility since 1999.
Competing without its top two players in Marek Marksoo and Sean Kolar, Sacramento State was playing the first of two non-conference matches this week. The Hornets' lone singles win came from sophomore Niranjan Ram who won his fifth straight match after beating Jose Bendeck at No. 2 by a 6-2, 7-5 score.
However, Idaho won matches at Nos. 1, 4 and 5 to seal the victory. The Hornets' Joaquin Marquez lost in a pair tiebreakers at No. 4 to Barta, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), and Oliver Andersen lost in three sets at No. 5 by a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 score.
Matches at Nos. 3 and 6 went unfinished because Idaho already had the necessary four points for victory. At No. 3, Tom Miller was tied at 3-3 in the third set when his match was stopped, and Ayman Abdulwahab's match was halted at No. 6 where he was leading, 2-1, in the third set.
In doubles play, Idaho won matches at Nos. 1 and 2 by 7-4 scores, while the Hornets' tandem of Abdulwahab and Roy Brandys had their match stopped at No. 3 where they led, 6-5.
Sacramento State is two-thirds of the way through a season-long nine-match homestand that has seen them post a 3-3 record thus far. The Hornets' final three matches of the homestand will take place this Thursday against UMBC at 2 p.m., and next week against Big Sky opponents Eastern Washington (March 25) and Weber State (March 27). Each of those three matches will take place at the tennis courts on campus.
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