MEN’S TENNIS OPENS BIG SKY TOURNAMENT PLAY ON THURSDAY AT 8 A.M.

MEN’S TENNIS OPENS BIG SKY TOURNAMENT PLAY ON THURSDAY AT 8 A.M.

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SACRAMENTO -- After a completing a regular season in which the team finished 9-11 overall and 7-3 in league, the Sacramento State men's tennis team will begin Big Sky Conference Tournament play on Thursday as the No. 3 seed at the single elimination event.

The tournament, which is being held at the Phoenix Tennis Center in Phoenix, Ariz. from April 25-27, features the top six teams from the 11-member conference. The quarterfinals take place on Thursday, the semifinals are on Friday and the championship match will be on Saturday. All matches begin at 8 a.m. and live stats will be offered for each.

The Hornets finished in a tie for second place in the conference standings with Southern Utah, but the Thunderbirds won the tiebreaker and got the No. 2 seed based on a 4-3 win over the Hornets during the regular season. The top two seeds (Northern Arizona is the No. 1) receive a first round bye.

As the 3 seed, Sacramento State will take on No. 6 Idaho State in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday at 8 a.m. The Hornets recently defeated the Bengals, 6-1, when the two teams played in Sacramento on April 14.

The other quarterfinal matchup features No. 4 Portland State vs. No. 5 Montana at 8 a.m. The semifinals begin on Friday at 8 a.m. with No. 1 seed Northern Arizona taking on the lowest remaining seed, and No. 2 Southern Utah facing the highest remaining seed at 8 a.m. The winners of the two semifinal matches will face each other for the championship on Saturday at 8 a.m.

The winner of the Big Sky Tournament receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, a place the Hornets haven't been since 2013. The Hornets will also look to qualify for their first Big Sky Tournament championship match since 2013. Last season, Sacramento State did not qualify for the Big Sky's postseason event for the first time in program history.

The Hornets enter the tournament as winners of three straight, comprised of 6-1 home wins over Weber State, Idaho State and Northern Colorado.

Against the five teams at the tournament, Sacramento State is 0-1 vs. Northern Arizona (L, 4-3 in SAC) and Southern Utah (L, 4-3, in SAC), and 1-0 vs. Portland State (W, 4-3, in Portland), Idaho State (W, 6-1, in SAC) and Montana (W, 4-3, in Missoula).

The Hornets' Johannes Gjerdaker (8-2), Mikus Losbergs (7-3), Hermont Legaspi (7-3) and Donald Hall (7-3) have each been very good in singles play against Big Sky opposition. In doubles play, the team of Losbergs/Louis Chabut is 7-2 in league play, and Legaspi/Dom Miller is 5-2 against Big Sky opposition.

The Hornets will be seeking their 12th Big Sky Tournament championship (1998-99, 2001-03, 2007, 2009-13). They also have 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, which includes every year mentioned above except 1998.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Quarterfinals - April 25
No. 3 Sacramento State vs. No. 6 Idaho State - 8 a.m.
No. 4 Portland State vs. No. 5 Montana - 8 a.m.

Semifinals - April 26
No. 1 Northern Arizona vs. Lowest Remaining Seed - 8 a.m.
No. 2 Southern Utah vs. Highest Remaining Seed - 8 a.m.

Championship - April 27
Semifinal Winners - 8 a.m.