THREE MENâ€™S TENNIS PLAYERS NAMED ALL-LEAGUE, MALKO AND MARKSOO ON THE FIRST TEAM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After sweeping through the conference tournament and winning its 10th Big Sky Tournament title in 15 years, the Sacramento State men’s tennis team was rewarded with three players being placed on the all-conference team, including first team selections Aliaksandr Malko and Marek Marksoo. Senior Javier Millan received second team honors.
Playing for a team that used four freshmen in its lineup in every match this season, Malko (No. 1), Marksoo (No. 2), and Millan (No. 3) were the top three players in the team’s singles lineup.
On the heels of a 7-1 record against conference teams, Sacramento State won the Big Sky Tournament championship last weekend for the 10th time and will gain the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Hornets will find out who and where they will play in the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday, May 1, at 2:30 p.m., on ncaa.com. The first and second rounds of the tournament will take place May 11-13.
In his second season with the Hornets, the junior received first team all-league honors for the first time after playing every match as the team’s No. 1 singles play. Malko currently has an 11-12 record in singles, including a 7-1 mark against Big Sky opponents. He won eight of his final nine singles matches of the season, including straight set wins in both the Big Sky Tournament semifinal and championship match. The Minsk, Belarus, native went 7-1 at No. 3 doubles with teammate Roy Brandys. That included winning each of the last six doubles matches of the season with Brandys.
The most consistent player on the Hornets throughout the season, Marksoo, who is a freshman, worked his way up from the team’s No. 5 singles player at the beginning of the season to his current spot at No. 2. He currently has a 17-3 singles record, including 2-0 at No. 2, 6-0 at No. 3, 3-1 at No. 4 and 6-2 at No. 5. The Tallinn, Estonia, native will bring an 11-game singles winning streak into the NCAA Tournament, and hasn’t lost a match since the middle of March. Nine of those victories during the streak have come in straight sets. The two-time Big Sky Player of the Week award winner is 10-7 in doubles play, including 6-3 at No. 1 with current partner Millan.
In his second season with the Hornets, Millan is one of just two seniors on the squad. A first team all-conference selection last year, he is currently 9-13 in singles play, and 6-2 against Big Sky opponents. The Hermosillo, Mexico, native went 8-12 at No. 2, and 1-1 at No. 3. One of his victories in singles play was the championship-clinching win at No. 3 singles in the Big Sky Tournament title match over Montana’s Andrew Warren (6-1, 6-2). During his two seasons, he combined to go 14-2 in singles play against conference opponents. Millan went 6-3 in doubles play at No. 1 with current partner Marksoo.