GOLD RIVER, Calif. — Behind three straight-set singles victories and a pair of doubles wins, the Sacramento State men’s tennis team defeated Northern Arizona, 4-0, to win the 2010 Big Sky Conference Tournament title.
With the win, Sacramento State claimed its eighth Big Sky Tournament title, and will receive the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Since joining the Big Sky in 1996-97, the Hornets have now won nine regular season titles (1998-99, 2001-03, 2007-10), eight tournament championships (1998-99, 2001-03, 2007, 2009-10) and the NCAA Tournament appearance will be the team’s seventh (1999, 2001-03, 2007, 2009-10). The Big Sky champion did not receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament until the 1999 season.
This year’s NCAA Tournament first and second rounds will take place May 14-16. The Hornets will learn where and who they will play in the first round when the NCAA makes its selections on Tuesday, May 4. Selections will be aired live on ESPN News between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. PDT.
Sacramento State opened the match with a win in doubles play by capturing the first two completed matches. The tandem of Kiryl Harbatsiuk
and Marko Starcevic
won, 8-1, at No. 1 over David Flodberg and Pat Shimmelbauer. The other win came at No. 3 from Jason Smith
and Tim Lantin
over Hugo Ramadier and Kevin Taylor, 8-3.
In singles play, Anton Stryas defeated Shimmelbauer, 6-4, 6-0, at No. 2 to extend the Sacramento State lead to 2-0. Smith moved the team one point closer to the title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ramadier at No. 3.
The final point came at No. 5 where Starcevic rallied from a 5-2 deficit to take a 6-5 lead in the second set. He then fell behind love-40, but rallied back to force deuce and eventually pulled away for the win to complete a 6-2, 7-5, victory.
The Hornets also led, 7-5, 5-2, at No. 1 where Harbatsiuk was facing Andrew Reiff. The Nos. 4 and 6 matches favored Northern Arizona when play was halted.
Big Sky Conference Men’s Tennis Championship Match
Gold River Racquet Club
6. Kevin Taylor (NAU) led Tim Lantin
, 7-6 (8-6), 5-3
1. Harbatsiuk/Starcevic (SAC) def. Flodberg/Shimmelbauer, 8-1
2. Styhas/Ching (SAC) led Reiff/Pezzutto, 6-5
3. Smith/Lantin (SAC) def. Ramadier/Taylor, 8-3
Order of Finish
Singles: 2, 3, 5